ST HELENS has a rich history, with its identity and culture shaped by the glass industry, mining and rugby league.

But our town also punches well above its weight when it comes to producing people who have flourished in the worlds of TV, film, music.

Here is a list of St Helens folk who have made their name in the world of entertainment. If you have other suggestions we would love to hear them.

1. Johnny Vegas

St Helens Star: Johnny Vegas with his Pride of St Helens award

No St Helens celebrity list would or could be complete with our Johnny.

Thatto Heath born Michael Pennington made his alter ego Johnny while heckling another comedian at The Citadel and the rest, as they say, is history.

Far from shying away from his roots, Johnny – who is also a TV personality and actor as well as a comedian - regularly comes home and supports St Helens causes close to his heart such as Willowbrook Hospice and the Steve Prescott Foundation.

2. Jacqui Abbott

St Helens Star: Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott perform at Thetford Forest Live for a second year. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERAs the female lead singer of the band The Beautiful South, Abbott, from Rainford, has had several Top 10 singles including Rotterdam, Perfect 10, Don’t Marry Her and Dream a Little Dream of Me.

The group disbanded 2000, but after years of working together, she and co-founder of The Beautiful South Paul Heaton celebrated releasing their first ten UK number one album Manchester Calling, followed in 2022 with the album N.K Pop

3. Carley Stenson

St Helens Star: Carley Stenson has signed-up for Shrek The Musical.Billinge-born Carley may be widely known for her role in Hollyoaks but it’s her work on the West End stage which really sets her apart from the rest.

Multi-talented Carley, who recently took part in this year's Dancing on Ice, has had lead roles playing Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: The Musical and Fantine in Les Miserables.

4. Emma Rigby

St Helens Star: Emma Rigby

The fabulous starlet, best known for her work in Hollyoaks – for which she won a National Television Award in 2007 naming her as best actress - and as The Red Queen in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, hails from Eccleston in St Helens.

5. Rick Astley

St Helens Star: Rick Astley is going to perform in Thetford Forest in 2017

No, you are not being Rick-rolled. The Never Gonna Give You Up star hails from Newton-le-Willows and has been active in music for decades with other hits including Together Forever and Whenever You Need Somebody.

6. Jude Riordan

St Helens Star: Jude RiordanThe 11-year-old youngster from Lea Green stars in Coronation Street as Sam, a role for which he’s won a National Television Award.

He’s also starred in independent short films as well as in Brassic alongside Michelle Keegan and Joseph Gilgun.

7. Budgie from Siouxsie and The Banshees

St Helens Star: Peter Edward Clarke, known professionally as Budgie, is an English drummer best known for his work in Siouxsie and The Banshees.

He is also the co-founder of the Creatures.

8. Mike Parr

St Helens Star: Michael Parr

The Hard Lane born actor, best known for his role as Ross Barton in Emmerdale and has taken on parts on TV and on the big screen as well as recently taking to St Helens stages in Rita, Sue & Bob Too!


9. Gary Stretch

St Helens Star: Gary StretchThe Haresfinch star of Alexander and World Trade Center plus cult Brit movie Dead Man’s Shoes started his entertainment career as a boxer fighting the likes of Chris Eubank before following the bright lights of Hollywood.

10. David Yates

St Helens Star: David Yates who is to bring the doctor to the big screenDavid is an English film director, producer and screenwriter, who has directed feature films, short films, and television productions but is best known for directing the final four films in the Harry Potter series and the three films of its prequel series, Fantastic Beasts.

11. Frank Cottrell-Boyce

St Helens Star: Frank Collrell-BoyceFrank, a former pupil at St Bartholemew's Primary School in Rainhill and at West Park, is a children's author and screenwriter.

His triumphs include writing the script for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, where he used the town’s motto Ex Terra Lucem as inspiration, and a more recent script for the late Queen Elizabeth II’s on-screen cameo with Paddington Bear that formed part of the Jubilee celebrations.

12. Bernie Clifton

St Helens Star: REVIEW: The Hiss and BooBernie, better known for his performances with puppet Oswald the Ostrich and his appearances on Crackerjack was a fond favourite on TV screens.

13. David Moorst

St Helens Star: David Moorst accepts the award for Emerging Talent Award at The London Evening Standard Theatre Awards (Pic courtesy London Evening Standard)David from Haresfinch starred in the historic biopic Peterloo and landed the role as the mischievous Puck alongside Game Of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) for the London production of a Midsummer Nights Dream, which was also screened in cinemas across the UK.

14. Herbert Mundin

St Helens Star: The great Herbert Mundin at the height of his film careerHerbert Thomas Mundin (Born August 21 1898 and died March 5 1939) was an English character actor.

He was frequently typecast in 1930s Hollywood films like The Adventures of Robin Hood alongside Errol Flynn as an older cheeky eccentric, a type helped by his jowled features and cheerful disposition.

He was born on Windlehurst Road in St Helens.

15. George Groves

St Helens Star: OUR very own Hollywood pioneer George Groves with silver screen legend Al JolsonGeorge Groves (December 13 1901 – September 4 1976) was a film sound pioneer who played a significant role in developing the technology that brought sound to the silent screen.

He is also credited as being Hollywood's first ‘sound man’; he was the recording engineer on Al Jolson picture, The Jazz Singer (1927), as well as many other early talkies.

He worked at Warner Brothers for 46 years, rising to the position of Director of Sound winning two Academy Awards.

However, his life started above a barber shop on Duke Street in St Helens.

Do you know any other entertainers that should make our list? If so email them over to us with some information to