Famous Salopians - Part Two

Earlier this week we looked at Shropshire's media elite, but today we've delved into the registers of Shrewsbury School to uncover the well-known former scholars whose education led them in many different directions!

Earlier this week we looked at Shropshire's media elite, but today we've delved into the registers of Shrewsbury School to uncover the well-known former scholars whose education led them in very different directions.

Also see Part One of our Famous Salopians Series for music, film and television stars.

Michael Palin

A man who needs no introduction - Michael Palin is perhaps Shrewsbury's best-known scholar. The acclaimed actor and comedian went on to study at Oxford University where he met Terry Jones (pictured right). The pair later joined forces with John Cleese, Eric Idle and the late Graham Chapman, and the sensational sketch show Monty Python was born. Palin has since appeared in countless TV shows, but is most recently known for his travel series' on the BBC including Around The World In 80 Days, Pole to Pole and Himalaya.John Peel

Much-loved music DJ John Peel played a significant part in shaping British music, being the first DJ to bring an explosive combination of punk, blues, folk and rock to the ears of millions. Born just outside Liverpool, he was sent away to board at Shrewsbury School where his early enthusiasm for new music was noted in a school report. His early DJ career took him to Texas returning to Britain in 1967 to join Radio 1, where he remained until his sudden death in 2004.Michael Heseltine

Conservative Party politician Michael Heseltine was a scholar at Shrewsbury School before attending Oxford, where his ambition to become Prime Minister developed. After being called up for National Service in 1959, he was eventually elected to parliament and became a member of the shadow cabinate under Thatcher's rule before his appointment as Deputy Prime Minister during John Major's time in office.Nick Hancock

Best known for hosting sports quiz They Think It's All Over and comedy series Room 101, Nick Hancock attended Shrewsbury School before studying at Cambridge. His television career began with the comedy chat show La Triviatta before he moved on to appear in Rowan Atkinson's Mr Bean and a multitude of other shows.Richard Todd with Jean Simmons

1950s silver screen heartthrob Richard Todd, star of the 1962 war film The Longest Day, was born in Ireland but moved to Devon at an early age and subsequently boarded at Shrewsbury School. A talented rugby player, Todd went on to serve as a paratrooper during WW2 before embarking on a successful stage career. His big break came in 1949 when he appeared in The Hasty Heart, which earned him an Academy Award Nomination. He since starred in The Dam Busters and played Heathcliffe in the 1953 adaptation of Wuthering Heights. He's pictured above receiving an award with Jean Simmons in 1950.nick-owen.jpg

Nick Owen, presenter of many well-known BBC and Central Television titles, went to Kingsland Grange until the age of 13 when he moved on to Shrewsbury School to complete his education. After a broadcasting job on BBC Radio Birmingham in the early 1970s, Nick went on to present Good Morning Britain on TV-AM and subsequently Good Morning With Anne And Nick alongside Anne Diamond, before moving on to Midlands Today in 1993.Tim Booth

"Oh sit down, oh sit doooown!" crooned Tim Booth, lead singer of the popular 1990s band James, in their biggest hit to date. Tim was born in Wakefield but attended Shrewsbury School before enrolling on a drama course at Manchester University. He's also an acclaimed actor and dancer, and released a successful solo album in 2004 before rejoining James in early 2007.Lord Hutton

After a scholarship at Shrewsbury School, John Hutton studied law at Oxford before returning to his home city of Belfast as a barrister. He became Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland in 1988 but returned to England in the late 1990s to become a law lord. Lord Hutton was involved in several controversial and high-profile cases including the September Dossier and the extradition trial of Augusto Pinochet. He has now retired.Willie Rushton

Willie Rushton, originally from Chelsea, met fellow cartoonist Richard Ingrams during their education at Shrewsbury School and together, they set up the cult magazine Private Eye in late 1961. Rushton went on to further fame performing impressions of politicians in David Frost's That Was The Week That Was, along with scores of other television and film appearances, until his death in 1996.

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Comments for: "Famous Salopians - Part Two"


Oh great Nick Owen, - in all his glory and ineptitude of being able to pronounce Shrewsbury corectly ...

ShrEWSbury not Shr0wsbury

devon salopian

am i missing something here, perhaps i am wrong, but i thought a salopian was born within the county of shropshire, and those who attended shrewsbury school were old salopians. was michael palin born in shropshire? if we are discussing old salopians then how about lord michael heseltine, the late julian critchley mp, he loved shropshire as his mother and grand parents came from wistanstow. i also present as old salopians, the late great william rushton amongst other celebrities


oops - devon salopian i think you might want to actually read the article before commenting!

if you scroll through you'll see both michael heseltine and willie rushton ARE already in there! along with many others.

devon salopian

sorry julie i forgot to look up the numbers


Oopps Julie, i think you might want to read what DevonSalopian said before commenting ...

He is saying, a "true" salopian, is someone born in Shropshire, not someone who attended to snobbish Shrewsbury School...

that ok for you love?


I thought this was about famous people from Shropshire, not famous people, from out of the area, who went to school in Shrewsbury?

devon salopian

the definitions are i am sure, a salopian,is someone born in shropshire. a proud salopian, someone born in shrewsbury within the isthmus of the river severn. an old salopian is someone who went to shrewsbury schools.any body else who was not born in shropshire but who may live in shropshire are most welcome but are not and never will be a salopian. i count myself as being very honoured to have been born within the isthmus of the river severn.

David Tipton

I have always understood that I was a true Salopian - that is to say I was born within the old town walls of Shrewsbury (St.John's Nursing Home - 1941). Lived in Armoury Gardens; went to Prestfelde; been there, done it.

Don't tell me this government is changing local history, too!