There are many celebrities who have local connections to County Durham, from comedians, actors, directors and sports stars.
You may even have ‘claim to fames’ to boast about, but are there any famous faces who you didn’t know had ties to the area in one way or another?
We have rounded up some of the most iconic people to come from County Durham, from Rowan Atkinson, Matt Baker, Jeff Stelling and more.
Celebrities to have local ties to County Durham
Originally from Sedgefield in County Durham, Mark Gatiss is no stranger when it comes to TV.
He is known for being an actor, comedian, screenwriter and producer amongst many other talented roles.
His work involves some huge productions, including The League of Gentleman, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Dracula and Game of Thrones.
Born in Consett, the legendary Rowan Atkinson is most famous for his character Mr Bean, entertaining children and adults with his quirky humour and silly antics for years.
Rowan also had great success in the historical comedy Blackadder where he played the character of Edmund Blackadder, the series protagonist.
He has also featured in many comedy sketches for Comic Relief and during the London 2012 Olympics.
Former Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling is from Hartlepool in the county.
He presented Gillette Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports from 1994 until earlier this year.
The 68-year-old has also been the host of the Champions League coverage and even did a stint presenting Countdown on Channel 4.
Stephen Tompkinson is known for his most recent role as Alan Banks in DCI Banks and Danny Trevanion in Wild at Heart.
Earlier in his career, he appeared in Chancer and Drop the Dead Donkey among others.
In the world of film, Stephen has starred in Brassed Off and Hotel Splendide.
The Gogglebox star from Bishop Auckland became a fan favourite of the hit Channel 4 show when she appeared alongside her family.
Since then, she was a contestant on I’m A Celeb hosted by Ant and Dec, where she was crowned queen of the jungle in 2016.
She has since presented a number of shows on ITV, including Saturday Night Takeaway and the National Television Awards.
Scarlett has recently welcomed her first child named Jude Xavier with her partner Scott Dobinson.
Many will know Matt Baker for his presenting duties on Blue Peter from 1999 until 2006.
The 45-year-old from Easington hosted BBC's The One Show from 2011 to 2020 with Alex Jones.
Since 2009 he has been a regular face on Countryfile.
Dragon’s Den favourite Sara Davies from Coundon is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, and television personality.
She joined the BBC Two business show in 2019 and was the youngest-ever female investor.
In September 2021 she appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and was partnered with professional dancer Aljaž Škorjanec but was eliminated in week eight.
Although English cricketer Ben Stokes was born in New Zealand, he has a personal link to County Durham.
He moved to England at the age of 12 and in domestic cricket, he represented Durham.
At the start of the 2010 County Cricket Season, he made his championship debut for the North East city when he played in a fixture against Essex.
The 32-year-old was named Man of the Match in the final of the 2014 Royal London One-Day Cup Final at Lord's and has since become one of England’s most famous sports stars.
Growing up in the village of Annfield Plain, Alun Armstrong is another popular actor many will have seen on TV over the years.
He has a keen interest in the theatrical side of acting since performing in Shakespeare productions at his grammar school when he was younger.
Due to this, he became a stage actor who spent nine years with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Just some of his TV roles include several Charles Dickens adaptations and the character of ex-detective Brian Lane in BBC One’s New Tricks.