Built on seven hills and England’s most geographically diverse city, Sheffield has long been a major contributor to the UK’s creative, entertainment and sporting success. It’s also the home of CMD, who have identified some of their very own favourites from the Steel City for us.
1. Michael Palin CBE
After Monty Python, Michael Palin began a new career as a travel writer and travel documentarian and his journeys have taken him across the world, including the North and South Poles, the Sahara Desert, the Himalayas, Eastern Europe and Brazil. In 2013, Palin was made a BAFTA Fellow – the highest honour that is conferred by the organisation. But it’s surely his contribution to British comedy, alongside Terry Jones, for which he will be most fondly remembered – The Dead Parrott, A Fish Called Wanda, Life of Brian – stopped laughing yet?
2. Alex Turner
Lead vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter of the Arctic Monkeys, Turner is responsible for the fastest selling album in British music history. Incorporating a wry and ironic perspective on life, he remains too cool for school and has been making some of the UK’s best music for over a decade now. Mardy Bum – genius.
3. Helen Sharman
Despite attempts to write her out of history, she remains the UK’s first Astronaut and living proof that glass ceilings can be shattered. Helen was selected from over 13,000 candidates to visit space with a Russian crew in 1991 – she’s one of only seven Britons to leave the planet. And this country’s first.
4. Lord Sebastian Coe
Legendary middle-distance runner, gold medal winner and mastermind of London 2012, Sebastian Coe moved to the Steel City as a young child and honed his training on the rigorous demands of Sheffield’s countryside. Lord Coe became President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2015.
5. Jessica Ennis
Probably our greatest ever female track and field athlete, Jessica Ennis was the UK’s poster girl of London 2012, where she took gold on that unforgettable Super Saturday. A great role model for all, with that winning smile, she is a three-time World Champion in the heptathlon.
6. Sean Bean
Sean ‘100% Blade’ Bean has a filmography to die for. Lord of The Rings, Game of Thrones, a Bond villain, Sharpe, Lady Chatterley’s lover, Accused and, his finest role to date, that of Father Michael Kerrigan in Jimmy McGovern’s Broken. Despite his classical training, he can’t quite help bringing the earthy Sheffield boy to his roles.
7. Dominic West
BAFTA winner Dominic West has become one of the UK’s most celebrated and under-rated actors. His portrayal of Fred West in Appropriate Adult won him a BAFTA for best actor, while his portrayal of Noah Solloway in The Affair earned him a Golden Globe nomination. However, for many of us, he will always be Jimmy McNulty in The Wire.
With honourable mentions to Joe Root, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker, Michael Vaughan, Gordon Banks, David Blunkett, Harry Brearley and Joe Cocker.