By Emma McGladdery
The Towns and Villages that makeup Kirklees have a proud and historic heritage, from its leading role in the textile industry to being the birthplace of rugby league.
The region has also given rise to many iconic people that have gone on to do great things in the world of politics, entertainment, sports, and much more.
This article explores the stories and lives of some of Kirklees most famous faces.
This may be one of the first names that pops into your mind when you think of local famous faces.
Harold Wilson was Britain’s Prime Minister from October 1964 until June 1970, and then again from March 1974 until April 1976.
Wilson was born in Huddersfield and had always been a leader; he became fascinated with the world of politics at age 10 and expressed at a young age that he’d someday be Prime Minster.
Prior to starting secondary school, Wilson won a scholarship to attend his local grammar school (Royds Hall Community school) where he later became the head boy. He worked hard, continuously throughout his entire life until his death in 1995.
Most known for her roles as Beth Latimer on the ITV drama Broadchurch and most recently the Thirteenth Doctor in BBC’s long-running sci-fi series Doctor Who.
Jodie was born and raised in Skelmanthorpe, and attended Scissett Middle School, going on to then study at Shelley College. Jodie’s acting career began in 2005 after the trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she has made many notable television and film appearances over the years.
Jodie has even gone as far as filming a movie in and around Huddersfield, it’s called Adult Life Skills and made its way to the big screen in 2016. Jodie will soon make her debut in the next series of BBC’s popular genealogy documentary series Who do you think you are?, which she travelled back to Huddersfield specifically for.
Sir Patrick Stewart
The next person on our list normally needs no introduction. Sir Patrick was born in Mirfield, however, he spent the majority of his childhood years in Jarrow, located near Newcastle.
After growing up in a poor-income household lead with domestic violence and trauma, Sir Patrick in his adult life is continuously giving back to local communities.
In 2004, he became chancellor of the University of Huddersfield. Sir Patrick remained chancellor at the university until 2015 and the university even went as far as naming one of their campus buildings after him.
A veteran of both stage and screen, with roles too numerous to list, Sir Patrick Stewart will likely go down as one of the greatest actors of his generation.
Born in Marsden in 1963, Simon Armitage is an award-winning Poet, Playwright, and Novelist.
He’s won many awards and honours over the years for his poetry, and he is currently the national Poet Laureate until 2029.
Mostly known for her role as Cersei Lannister on the popular HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, Lena was actually born in Hamilton, Bermuda and moved to Huddersfield, settling in Highburton at age 11.
Lena attended Shelley College during her secondary school years, and reportedly this is where she found her love of acting. She appeared in a school production at the age of 17.
Her career only grew from there, and with many acclaimed roles under her belt, it will be exciting to see what she does next.
Finally, honourable mentions go to local creative businesses, local retail or hospitality business owners and the many famous sportspeople of Huddersfield Town and Huddersfield Giants. There are too many successful names in Kirklees to list them all.
With that, I think it’s a given to say that Kirklees has seen many success stories over the years and is proud of the famous faces that were raised in our towns. The people mentioned in this list are only a fraction of Kirklees most talented and successful current and former residents.