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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #8

After having a break from Thursday Thirteen for a couple of weeks, I thought I'd return with a list of famous people from my home city of Swansea, in Wales, UK. Some of these people may not be well-known outside the UK/Europe, so I'll explain who they are and why they're famous.

Thirteen Famous people connected to Swansea

1…. Dylan Thomas, the famous Welsh poet and playwright.

2.... Russell T. Davies, an award-winning TV writer and producer. He wrote the original UK series of Queer as Folk. He is currently in the spotlight as the creative force behind the revision of cult sci-fi series, Doctor Who. He has also created a spin-off show from Doctor Who, called Torchwood.

3.... Catherine Zeta Jones, Oscar-winning actress, and wife of Michael Douglas.

4.... Martin Amis, author of both fiction and non-fiction, spent his childhood in Swansea. His father, Kingsley Amis, held a teaching post in the English department at University College Swansea, at the time.

5.... Paul Durden, a well-known local character, co-wrote the cult black comedy film, Twin Twin.

6.... Sir Harry Secombe (deceased), comedian and singer. He co-wrote and starred in the popular radio comedy, The Goon Show, in the 1950's and early 1960's, and went on to enjoy a successful singing and TV career.

7.... Peter Ham, rock musician and founder member of 60's and 70's Swansea band, Badfinger. He was also the co-writer of Without You, which was a massive hit for both Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey. Peter Ham sadly committed suicide in 1975, aged just 27.

8.... Cerys Matthews, former lead vocalist of indie band, Catatonia. She has been back in the public eye recently, when she appeared on a reality TV show, in which she and one of her co-stars fell in love, despite him having a long term partner, who dumped him as a result.

9.... Terry Williams, who was the drummer of rock band, Dire Straits, for a number of years. I used to serve him with drinks at a bar where I worked, when his band were top of the charts. Embarassingly, I had no idea who he was, until someone told me.

10... There is a local rumour that Hillary Clinton's father had some kind of family ties in Swansea. I've no idea if this is true or not.

11... Mary Quant, the pioneering fashion designer, famous for hot-pants and mini-skirts, was born to parents who hailed from the Swansea area.

12... The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams is from the Mumbles area of Swansea. His role means he is the spiritual head of the Church of England (Anglican Church) in the UK.

13... The Scottish aviator, Sir Arthur Whitten Brown, the first man to fly across the Atlantic, was a resident of Langland, a coastal village on the western edge of Swansea. He lived in Swansea until his death in 1948.

That's my Thursday Thirteen for this week. Happy Thursday!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


EHT said...

Wow, you live in a place that must ooze creativity. Interesting!

pussreboots said...

Fantastic TT. I learned so much.

damozel said...

Ah, the lovely Amis writers. "Lucky Jim" is perhaps my favorite writers of all time, and he definitely got me interested in Wales and the Welch with "I Like it Here" and---especially---"The Old Devils." I've wanted to visit ever since; a great T13.The Flatland Almanack --Damozel

Malcolm: said...

Thanks for this fun and informative TT. I was just listening to my favorite Badfinger song (Baby Blue) the other day. That's a pretty cool story about you serving drinks to Terry Williams. He sounds like a down to earth guy. Otherwise, he probably would have pulled a "don't you know who I am" attitude on you.

Nicholas said...

Very interesting! Slightly ironic that Russell T. Davies's two major hit shows are filmed in Cardiff!

Dragonstar said...

Good list Siani!
We once bought a sound system from Peter Ham's brother John.
Cerys Matthews went to school in Llanelli, the town of my childhood.

Anonymous said...

My first parade with the Air Training Corps was a memorial service for Sir Arthur. Lady Witten-Brown had quite a bit to do with the Swansea Squadron.
Apparently Michael Hazeltine was born in Swansea - I got thoroughly wound up by a guy in a bar here who wanted to bet with me about it. I shuddered over my coffee and refused. Bloody hairnet.
Incidentally I was in the ATC with John Ham.
Swansea is a big village - or was.

jenn said...

Interesting. I wonder if anyone famous is from where I live. I might look into that....
Happy TT!

The Mocha Mom said...

Interesting! Thanks for sharing. My TT is up too.

Mar said...

I only knew about Catherine Z Jones...very interesting list!!

Vixen said...

A great list. I love TTs that educate me as well as entertain me.

Happy TT

Dane Bramage said...

Aside from Dire Straits and Badfinger, color me clueless to these people. ALthough admittedly they are probably more famouse than people from my hometown (except for my cousin who I mentioned in my T13)

Thanks for visiting my T13 #60: 13 Things I Want for Christmas But Will Never Get

Daisy said...

Oh, I know who Mary Quant was. I wish I had some of her mod fashions. But I do not think she designed anything for cats to wear.

Sandy Carlson said...

You've got some wonderful names attached to your hometown! It's only right that Dylan Thomas leads your list, though!

Nicole Austin said...

Very cool! Lost of creative people from that area.

Happy TT!

Tiffany Aller said...

Very neat list - so of those 13, who is YOUR favorite local celeb?

Natalie said...

Wow! You have a lot of famous people from there. I wonder if anyone famous is from my home town...I'll have to look into that.

Dragonheart said...

How, lots of famous people from Swansea! Very interesting. :)