HEREFORDSHIRE might not be well-renowned for being a hotbed of celebrities, but there are a number who have chosen to make it their home.
Familiar faces on the television are among those who have chosen the beautiful county as their home.
Former star of the BBC’s Top Gear and now Amazon’s The Grand Tour, Richard Hammond has lived near Ross-on-Wye since 2008.
Bollitree Castle in Weston-under-Penyard has been subject to a number of planning applications lately as Mr Hammond, 50, looks to make changes to his Herefordshire home.
They include secure storage for his car collection and a new farm track, with an application to make changes to a barn for guest accommodation given the green light by planners recently.
Mr Hammond, who was born in Solihull, has also featured on BBC local radio stations and presented Brainiac: Science Abuse between 2003 and 2008, Total Wipeout from 2009 to 2012 and Planet Earth Live in 2012.
Another star of the screen, host of the BBC’s Gardeners’ World lives in rural Herefordshire.
Monty Don’s Longmeadow Garden is tucked away in the countryside near Ivington, Leominster, with the TV show filmed there.
Mr Don, now 65, married Sarah Erskine in 1983 and together they have sons Adam and Tom and daughter Freya.
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In 1989, they moved to The Hanburies, a country house in Herefordshire, but lost the house when their jewellery business crashed. It was then in 1991 the Dons bought the house in Ivington where Longmeadow was created.
Born in Germany and raised in England, Don’s dog Nigel became the unlikely star of Gardeners’ World, with tributes flooding in what his death was announced earlier this year.
TV quizzer Mark Labbett had been living in Herefordshire with his wife Katie, but after they split he was reported to have moved out.
His Twitter profile still states he lives in Herefordshire, with Mr Labbett, 55, coming to fame after starring in ITV’s The Chase.
Nicknamed ‘The Beast’ on the Chase, Mr Labbett was born in Tiverton, Devon but moved to south Wales where he was a maths teacher at Caldicot School.
After becoming interesting in quizzing while he worked at a Butlins holiday camp, he went onto be a contestant in a number of TV quizzes before becoming a chaser on the ITV show, which was first broadcast in 2009 and hosted by Bradley Walsh.
Elizabeth Hurley, whose country home is near Ledbury, said her hopes of meeting a new man were scuppered by the first coronavirus lockdown in March.
The actress and model, 54, is self-isolating with eight others, including her 18-year-old son Damian and widowed mother Angela, at her country home in the county.
Miss Hurley has previously had high-profile relationships with actor Hugh Grant, Australian cricketer Shane Warne and was married to businessman Arun Nayar from 2007 until 2011.
The star of films including Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery said she had no plans to continue modelling swimwear in her 60s.
John Challis is happy to accept he’ll always be best known for playing Only Fools And Horses’ cigar–chomping wide boy Boycie.
The iconic BBC sitcom, which ran from 1981-1999, with a string of one-off specials until 2003, catapulted him to fame – and who could forget Herman Terrance Aubrey ‘Boycie’ Boyce, with his cackling laugh and signature cry of ‘Marleeeene!’
The career of Mr Challis, who lives in Wigmore, has spanned 50 years and a huge variety of roles. He played Monty Staines in ITV’s hit comedy Benidorm, with parts in Coronation Street, Last Of The Summer Wine and Heartbeat too.
The Bristol-born actor, 77, was asked what one of the turning points in his life was.
He said: “Meeting my fourth wife, Carol.
“I’d pretty well resigned myself to being single because I was convinced I was hopeless at relationships after having three failed marriages behind me. She believed in me, grounded me, and was such a steadying influence and we’ve been married 25 years.
“Our passion is restoring and preserving our home, Wigmore Abbey in Herefordshire, which dates from the 12th century. Some of the scenes in The Green Green Grass were filmed here.”