Famous faces: A look at Stevenage's most notable people

Stevenage has been home to Ken Follett, Giles Terera, Ed Westwick, Lewis Hamilton, E. M. Forster and more

Stevenage has been home to Ken Follett, Giles Terera, Ed Westwick, Lewis Hamilton, E. M. Forster and more - Credit: Supplied

From E. M. Forster to Lewis Hamilton, Stevenage has been the birthplace or home of several notable residents.

As part of the Comet's coverage of the 75th anniversary of the New Town, we're taking a look at some of its most famous faces.

One of the town's most famous former residents is Stevenage is racing driver Sir Lewis Hamilton, who was born in the town in 1985, and grew up there before being signed to the McLaren young driver programme in 1998.

Sir Lewis was knighted earlier this year in the New Year Honours list.

File photo dated 20-02-2020 of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton. Issue date: Monday February 8, 2021. Issue

Lewis Hamilton is one of Stevenage's most famous former residents - Credit: DAVID DAVIES/PA

Stevenage is also the birthplace of actor Alex Pettyfer, who got his big break when he was cast as teenage spy Alex Rider in the 2006 film of Stormbreaker, based on the novels by Anthony Horowitz.

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Since then Pettyfer has gone on to appear in other films including Wild Child and Magic Mike.

Another notable actor from our town is Giles Terera, who is best known for his role as Aaron Burr in the original cast of the London production of Hamilton.

The 43-year-old actor won an Olivier award for Best Actor in a Musical last year. Picture: Pamela Ra

Actor Giles Terera was born in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

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Terera is also a filmmaker and musician, and was appointed MBE in the 2020 New Years Honours for his services to theatre.

Actor Ed Westwick, who played Chuck Bass on the American teen drama series Gossip Girl, was born in Stevenage in 1987. 

Ed Westwick opens Abbotsley Village Fete

Ed Westwick opens Abbotsley Village Fete - Credit: Archant

Westwick attended Barclay School and North Herts College, later training at the National Youth Theatre in London.

Stevenage has also been home to authors, including E. M. Forster, who died in 1970 and lived in the house at Rooks Nest as a child from 1883 to 1893.

E. M. Forster

E. M. Forster - Credit: Archant

Forster is most well-known for his novels A Room with a ViewHowards End and A Passage to India, and was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 16 separate years.

Stevenage is also home to Welsh historical fiction and thriller author Ken Follett, who is perhaps best known for writing the Kingsbridge series, beginning in 1989 with The Pillars of the Earth.

Bestselling author Ken Follett will be giving a talk about religious tolerance. Picture: Olivier Fav

Author Ken Follett lives in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

Among the town's more infamous residents were identical twin poachers Albert Ebenezer Fox and Ebenezer Albert Fox, who were born in 1857 and fell into a life of crime despite their respectable background.

The Twin Foxes public house, opened in 1952, was named after the brothers, but closed down in 2012.

The demolition of the Twin Foxes pub on Rockingham Way is underway.

The Twin Foxes pub was named after the notorious poacher brothers - Credit: Archant

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