Swindon is home to a surprising number of celebrities.

If the town had its own wall of fame, these actors, musicians and sporting stars would definitely top the list:

Billie Piper

Swindon Advertiser:

Billie Piper at the Bafta TV awards at the Royal Festival Hall in London (Matt Crossick/PA)

Billie Piper is an actress and former singer who was born in Swindon. At the age of 15, Piper released her debut single "Because We Want To", which made her the youngest artist to enter at number one on the UK Singles Chart.

Piper appeared as a series regular in the BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who (2005-2006), in the role of Rose Tyler, companion to The Doctor. She reprised the role in 2008 and 2010. Piper then starred as the high-flying escort Belle de Jour in the television drama series Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2007-2011) before returning to Doctor Who for a role in its 50th anniversary special in 2013.

She went on to write and direct her first film Rare Beasts, which premiered in UK cinemas in 2020. In the same year, she won acclaim for co-creating and starring in the acclaimed dark comedy-drama series I Hate Suzie. Billie will be back on our screens soon in the upcoming adaptation of the memoir Coming Undone.

Melinda Messenger

Swindon Advertiser:
Melinda Messenger (Ian West/PA)

The television presenter and former glamour model and Page Three girl, Melinda Messenger was born in Swindon.

Spending her early life in the town she attended The Dorcan Academy, formerly Dorcan Technology College. 

Messenger presented the magazine programme Live from Studio Five and was formerly the co-presenter of the reality show Cowboy Builders.

Nick Hewer

Swindon Advertiser:

Nick Hewer (Ian West/PA)

Nick Hewer is a television presenter, company director and former public relations consultant.

From 2005 to 2014, he appeared as Lord Sugar's adviser on the British television series The Apprentice.

From January 2012, hepresented the Channel 4 programme Countdown with Rachel Riley and Susie Dent, having taken over from Jeff Stelling. He is the fifth presenter of Countdown and the longest-serving one since original host, Richard Whiteley.

Anne Robinson took over hosting duties in 2021.

Mark Lamarr

Swindon Advertiser:
Mark Lamarr, former host of the BBC’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks (Sean Dempsey/PA)

Mark Lamarr is a comedian, writer, radio DJ and television presenter. He was a team captain on Shooting Stars from 1995 to 1997, and hosted Never Mind the Buzzcocks from 1996 to 2005.

Whilst living in Swindon, Lamarr grew up in the Park South area and attended Park School, now Oakfield School, where he gained five O-Levels.

Dean Ashton

Swindon Advertiser: Dean Ashton

Premiership footballer, played almost 250 times for Crewe Alexandra, Norwich City and West Ham United, born in Swindon. 

He retired on 11 December 2009, aged 26, after failing to recover from a long-term ankle injury sustained during international duty with England.

Jazmin Carlin

Jazmin Roxy "Jazz" Carlin is a competitive swimmer, who represents Wales and the Great Britain swimming team.

Carlin was born in Swindon but moved to Swansea with her parents in 2006, to train at the Wales National Pool.

She competes primarily in freestyle events and is currently based at the University of Bath. 

Carlin won gold for Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and two silver medals for Great Britain in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

David Howell 

Professional golfer, David Howell, was born in Swindon in 1975. 

His career peaked in 2006, when he won the BMW Championship and was ranked in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking for a short time. He played in the Ryder Cup in 2004 and 2006.