There’s nothing quite like spotting someone famous down your local having a quiet pint or browsing the biscuit aisle at Tesco. And while it’s always best behaviour to leave them go about their day there’s a quiet satisfaction when you realise you live near a celebrity.
In Wales we do have some great famous faces who have settled in God’s country. That’s true whether they are born here or not as they are living their best life in the midst of our brilliant communities or soaking up the country life.
Let’s see who is kicking back and loving life in Wales. Because, after all, who can blame them?
Read more:The famous people who have died so far in 2022
The Led Zeppelin rock god has a long history with Wales which goes back his whole life. As a child he would holiday in the country with his parents and he has been interested in Celtic history for decades. At the height of Zeppelin’s fame they began to write their third album, Led Zeppelin III, in a small cottage owned by Page’s family which is immortalised in the song Bron-yr-Aur Stomp.
The mover and shaker of Madchester legends Happy Mondays, Bez is now shaking his maracas in the Monmouthshire countryside keeping bees and making wine out of hedgerow ingredients. “It’s been a revelation to me – to the way I live and think,” said the 57-year-old whose notorious benders back in the band’s heyday were the inspiration for tracks such as 24-Hour Party People.
“It’s done me good and I’ve made some great friends. Everyone’s treated me very kindly and it’s been a really interesting place to live.” Read our interview with Bez here.
Hollywood star, master of mimicry, and social hero Michael has a pad tucked away in the Swansea Valley which he showcased during lockdown with dreamy views of rolling hills from his hammock and, um, queues at Pontardawe Tesco. He has also been spotted selling Welsh cakes at Aberavon and generously turns on the Christmas lights in Ystradgynlais. Legend.
Known to millions as Joe Mangel in soon-to-be cancelled Neighbours Mark can now be found “finessing a magic acre in the wilderness ” somewhere south of Lake Vyrnwy in Powys. “We are now Anarchists Of The Forest and proud to be Welsh,” the actor tweeted in 2020, revealing he moved to Wales during the first lockdown.
James Dean Bradfield
The quiet and unassuming Manic Street Preachers frontman is a world away from his bell-on-every-tooth performing persona when spotted in real life and that’s why we like him so much. JDB can often be seen enjoying everyday life in one of Cardiff’s neighbourhoods.
Mark Lewis Jones
Another man about the capital, Mark is one of those faces you know and that’s because he’s prolific when it comes to starring in the best TV and films of the past two decades. The Crown, Outlander, Chernobyl, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Keeping Faith – there’s not much he’s not been in! Read our interview with Mark here.
The multi-talented Charlotte makes the best of where she lives both in Vale of Glamorgan, where she loves a sea swim early doors, and in Powys, where she is renovating fashion designer Laura Ashley’s former home Rhydoldog House. The renovation of the house, which she is going to turn into a wellness and health retreat and an occasional wedding venue, has been the subject of Really TV show, Dream Build.
Julian Lewis Jones
Stella, Justice League and Invictus star Julian is originally from Anglesey but now lives in Carmarthenshire where you’ll see him looking furious about speeding vehicles (quite rightly) or maybe just down the pub.
The former Game of Thrones and Ripper Street actor moved to live near St Davids in Pembrokeshire in 2002 because it was “one of the most magical places on the planet”. Since arriving he’s become a valued and vocal member of the community, throwing his weight behind campaigns to save the nearby swimming pool and halt the closure of local schools. He also set up a new-age sanctuary called Trefacwn in an Grade II-listed Georgian mansion which, according to its website, boasts “an ancient healing energy palpable to all who visit”.
The first Britain’s Got Talent winner stayed true to his down-to-earth nature by staying in his hometown of Port Talbot. The former Carphone Warehouse employee has bought himself a modern mansion nearby his small terraced house with his wife Julie, whom he met on the internet
Springwatch host Kate moved to the Wye Valley in 2010 with husband Ludo Graham their three dogs Teg, Badger, and Bella. You might see her enjoying the countryside where she runs her organic farm or even enjoying a bit of naturist fun as since moving to the countryside she likes to feel at one with nature by getting her kit off.
She told The Mirror: “I do like taking my clothes off and feeling at one with nature. Sometimes I get completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the environment around me and it just seems the most natural way to experience it. I said the same thing on Rob Brydon’s show The Guess List – that if you’re in a very beautiful place there is something very celebratory about having a little nudey dance.”
The husky-voiced legend is a regular around Mumbles, living just up the road. Turn around and she’s gone, though.