Quiz: How well do you know your York celebrities?

Famous faces from York
23 May 2020 @ 4.44 pm
| Quiz

Everyone knows the fable of York’s most famous son, Guy Fawkes. As soon as you’re old enough to grasp the meaning of ‘hung, drawn and quartered’, primary school teachers jump at the chance to bring his grisly tale to life.

But what about York’s other famous residents? Do you know your Seahorses from your Sheds? Which acclaimed novelist apparently couldn’t stand the Mount School?

Fifteen questions await to test your knowledge of our city’s sons and daughters. You might actually learn something this week! Good luck…

Famous York people quiz

Which of these is the name of a hugely popular metalcore band formed in York?

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons
1. Asking Alexandria
2. Badgering Becca
3. Castigating Chastity
4. Damaging Diana

It's Asking Alexandria

The York five-piece are beloved in metalcore circles - no less of an authority than Slipknot's Corey Taylor called their brand new album 'the best thing (they've) ever f***ing written'. Bizarrely, they were offered the chance to open for Charlie Sheen on his 2011 stand-up tour, which, for the good of humanity, they turned down.

Which of the following politicians was NOT born in York?

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons
1. David Davis
2. Frank Dobson
3. Roy Hattersley
4. Vince Cable

It's Roy Hattersley

The former deputy Labour leader was born in softer southern climes - Sheffield, to be precise. The youthful, vigorous trio of Cable, Dobson and Davis all came into the world in our fair city. None ended up representing the Yorkshire Party, however. Traitors.

A decade ago, York-born football manager Steve McClaren led a team to the league title in which nation?

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons
1. The Netherlands
2. Turkey
3. Portugal
4. Germany

It was the Netherlands

To his eternal credit, the much-maligned manager led FC Twente to their only ever Eredivisie title in 2010, winning 61 of his 97 games in charge. To most English football fans, though, he remains a figure of derision after the Three Lions' dismal failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

Which famous York figure is commemorated by this statue?

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons
1. William Etty, painter
2. Constantine, Roman Emperor
3. George Hudson, Railway King
4. Alan Leach, Shed Seven drummer

It's William Etty

You don't have to be too eagle-eyed to notice he's holding a palette, or the fact he's standing in front of York Art Gallery. A man of lower profile than his creative contribution deserves, Etty pioneered the depiction of nudes in British art, as seen in his above 1821 work 'Cleopatra's Arrival in Sicilia'. 

Name the Brew York beer created in honour of York's most famous thespian, Judi Dench.

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons
1. Casino Roy-Ale
2. Old Fruiteronomy
3. Dame Judi Quench
4. Refillomena

It's Dame Judi Quench

As my pathetic alternatives demonstrate, it's by far the best moniker they could have chosen. And the Oscar-winning woman herself is a fan! Read all about it on YorkMix here.

Which of these immortal lines of poetry is a work of the York-born WH Auden?

1. 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all
2. Stop all the clocks
3. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams
4. April is the cruellest month

It was 'Stop all the clocks'

The opening line of the devastating 'Funeral Blues' is probably Auden's most famous work. As shown above, you can visit the house where Auden was born at 54 Bootham to this day.

In 'Doctor Who', who is the only York-born actor to have played the Doctor?

Photograph: BBC
1. Christopher Ecclestone
2. Jodie Whittaker
3. David Bradley
4. Peter Davison

It's David Bradley

Slightly cheeky question but 100% correct. As original actor William Hartnell had died forty-two years previously, Bradley assumed the role of the First Doctor alongside Peter Capaldi in two 2017 episodes of the show.

Which fictional detective was created by York-born author Kate Atkinson?

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons
1. Lindsay Gordon
2. Charlie Parker
3. Jackson Brodie
4. Vera Stanhope

It's Jackson Brodie

Atkinson's five-book series about the tough guy PI with a tragic past was famously adapted by the BBC into the Edinburgh-set series 'Case Histories'. The author has in fact set several of her books in York, including her Whitbread Book of the Year-winning debut 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum', the title of which refers to our very own Castle Museum.

Which current Premier League defender attended Archbishop Holgate's School?

1. Ryan Bertrand
2. Ben Chilwell
3. Danny Rose
4. Ben Godfrey

it's Ben Godfrey

Tipped by some to be a future England captain, Norwich stalwart Godfrey has already achieved such an honour at under-21 level. If memory serves me rightly, I had a kickabout with him when I was about eleven. I don't remember him being that much better than the rest of us, but that may just be my mind reassuring me that I might still make it as a professional.

Which of these James Bond themes was NOT written or co-written by St Peter's School alumnus John Barry?

1. Nobody Does It Better
2. A View to a Kill
3. You Only Live Twice
4. Thunderball

It was Nobody Does It Better

Barry also composed the soundtracks and co-wrote the themes for 'Goldfinger', 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service', 'Diamonds Are Forever', 'The Man with the Golden Gun', 'Moonraker', 'Octopussy' and 'The Living Daylights'. He also won five Oscars, all for non-Bond related projects. Nobody does it better, indeed.

Sticking with a musical theme, which of these Shed Seven singles charted highest?

Photograph: Shed Seven on YouTube
1. Getting Better
2. Chasing Rainbows
3. Going for Gold
4. Disco Down

It was Going for Gold

Surprisingly, it was their only top ten hit, peaking at number eight back in 1996. Not a patch on the Hans Zimmer-written game show theme, of course.

And the Seahorses' frontman Chris Helme was recruited to the band after being spotted busking where in York?

Photograph: Steve Cowell
1. King's Square
2. Outside Woolworth's
3. Fibbers
4. Low Petergate

It was outside Woolworth's

It's a conspicuous start to a story that led to one of the greatest albums of the '90s, as well as support slots with U2, Oasis and the Rolling Stones for Helme and co.

Which of these writers DIDN'T attend school or university in York?

1. Iris Murdoch
2. Margaret Drabble
3. Jung Chang
4. AS Byatt

It was Iris Murdoch

Sisters Margaret Drabble and AS Byatt both attended the Mount, which apparently the latter hated. Jung Chang, meanwhile, became the first Chinese individual to receive a PhD from a British university whilst studying in York back in 1982. 

Guy Mowbray, who still lives in York, became the youngest ever TV broadcaster to commentate on a FIFA World Cup Final in 1998. How old was he?

Photograph: BBC/ Andrew Hayes-Watkins
1. 18
2. 22
3. 26
4. 30

He was just 26

At that age, John Motson was still in sheepskin nappies. Mowbray is a devoted York City supporter, which may explain why, in the intervening years, he's become a bit of a silver fox, shall we say.

Finally, which TV Gladiator hails from York?

1. Jet
2. Panther
3. Hunter
4. Wolf

It's Hunter

Alongside Saracen, Wolf, Lightning and Cobra, Hunter (real name James Crossley) was one of only five Gladiators to appear in all eight series of the show. He also defeated all the other male beefcakes to earn the title of 'Ultimate Gladiator' in 1999. The breadth of York's Roman history truly knows no bounds.

All 15 questions completed!


Share results:

Famous York people quiz

Want more stuff like this?

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!
Don`t worry, we don`t spam

2 thoughts on “Quiz: How well do you know your York celebrities?

  1. So what about Frankie Howerd then?? And Nev Astley ( co creator of Peppa Pig )????
    btw, your bit about Chris Helme (and don’t forget Stu Fletch) isn’t what I was told…

Comments are closed.