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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
"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.
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, 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.Subscribe to our Newsletter