17 Yorkshire celebrities - why we love living here

Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen
Image: Kevin Gibson

Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen Image: Kevin Gibson - Credit: Archant

From shepherdess Amanda Owen to chef Brian Turner, Yorkshire’s most famous faces tell us where they plan to eat, shop and visit as life returns to normal

Julian Norton, The Yorkshire Vet
Image: Gary Longbottom

Julian Norton, The Yorkshire Vet Image: Gary Longbottom - Credit: Archant

Amanda Owen, Yorkshire Shepherdess

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

Visiting: The charity shop, to find some pretty summer frocks for the children. The girls like to dress up when the sun is shining and, of course, there’s little point keeping clothes for best when we don’t really do outings. So, it’s froufrou, glitz and lace I am looking for, all worn with wellies.

Shopping: I really don’t like shopping; I only partake in food shopping when the larder is bare. Lockdown has taught us lessons in make do and mend and what is vital. Apart from moisturiser, lipstick and mascara – they are essential - up there with loo roll and teabags!

Eating: We don’t eat out, ever. It would be too expensive and being thrifty I couldn’t face paying a restaurant bill that amounted to what I’d spend on food to feed us all for a week. I know I sound like Scrooge, but that is just how we are. The auction mart cafe at Hawes is about my limit when it comes to fine dining, it serves brilliant plates of food and you can listen in to the trading in the ring whilst you eat.

Planning for: I have a backlog on my to-do list, nothing has been cancelled, everything is just postponed, which is brilliant as I can’t wait to get out meeting people again. I reckon to split my year into six months of focusing on the sheep and six months of visitors and guests coming to Ravenseat. This year has been so strange, the feeling of isolation in an already isolated place is difficult to explain.

Selina Scott
Image: Richard Swain Tractor Creative Bolton Abbey

Selina Scott Image: Richard Swain Tractor Creative Bolton Abbey - Credit: Archant

Julian Norton, The Yorkshire Vet

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

Most Read

Visiting: Friends! Simple as that! The abolition of social interaction has been horrible. I’ve been luckier than most; as a vet, I’ve fallen under the umbrella of key worker, so I’ve been able to get out and about and work fairly normally - animals don’t understand about things like lockdown or the R number!

Shopping: I’m not much of a shopper, so I’ve not been too affected by them being closed. However, in recent years I’ve spent a lot of time in local bookshops, mainly signing copies of my books. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’m looking forward to visiting my favourite bookshop again: White Rose Book Cafe in Thirsk to name one.

Eating: Cafés for lunch or an Italian meal with the family. How have we managed so long without them? One of my favourites, Plenty in Boroughbridge, has been doing takeaways recently, which has kept me going with sustenance during a busy day, but it’s not the same as meeting an old friend to sit down with a panini and a coffee!

Planning for: A well-deserved holiday in the French alps! This is a favourite place for my family and me. Whether we are cycling up cols or mountain biking down tracks, paddling the kayak in a lake or swimming in it, or even just walking on foot, this is a special place. Peace and quiet and away from the hectic pace of life. I booked our tunnel ticket in April, soon after lockdown - ever the optimist - I hope we get to travel!

Steph McGovern
Image: Channel Four

Steph McGovern Image: Channel Four - Credit: Archant

Selina Scott

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

I have really enjoyed lockdown. No hassle from anyone. No microlights buzzing overhead. No cars. The sky as blue as blue with no planes. Able to bicycle without fear. Beadlam Grange farm shop delivered, so there was nothing I wanted I couldn’t get. And, of course, I was so lucky to be on my farm in North Yorkshire living minute by minute with wildlife, nesting birds, otters, hedgehogs out of hibernation in our glorious spring and early summer. I have never been able to do that before, there have always been deadlines or meetings to attend.

Visiting: My sister, Vanessa, who has been locked down in Scotland. I am looking forward to getting my Naturally Selina website fixed. It went into lockdown and is only now emerging… that is if the digital agency in Leeds comes out of furlough.

Shopping: I am looking forward to Tennants of Leyburn opening. Their viewing auctions always mean a joyful journey through the Dales.

Planning for: At the end of the year I will be walking through Wharfedale with a drone and only myself for company. One of those walks the BBC commissioned from Leeds with natural sound only (Yorkshire Walks). It was a lovely day. The poet laureate Simon Armitage also did one.

Amy Garcia
Image Claire Wood

Amy Garcia Image Claire Wood - Credit: Archant

Steph McGovern, presenter

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

Visiting: Wensleydale with my baby and partner to soak up the gorgeous countryside and eat lots of cheese. My daughter has spent half of her life in lockdown so doesn’t yet know how beautiful the county she was born in is!

Shopping: Anywhere that isn’t a supermarket. Although I have to say my local Asda has been brilliant in lockdown. I have even been known to dance in the aisles on occasions when a good tune has come on.

Eating: At all my favourite restaurants in Harrogate, like The Fat Badger and Graveley’s. I want to go with my mates and totally pig out. Then I want to roll home drunk. That sounds bad, but it’s true!

Planning for: The launch of my daily lunchtime show, The Steph Show, which will be live from our new studios in Leeds Docks.It will be on Channel 4 in September. Woohoo!

Anna Foster
Image: BBC

Anna Foster Image: BBC - Credit: Archant

Amy Garcia, Look North Yorkshire

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

Visiting: My niece and nephew in Oxfordshire.

Shopping: In York - just seeing the city alive again will be lovely.

Eating: Anywhere that means I don’t need to cook! ‘Star in the City’ Sat by the riverside followed by a strawberry cone from the ice cream boat that moors by museum gardens. We can’t get away with going to York and not going there, the children love it.

Planning for: A holiday... for the first time ever we were super organised and booked a trip to France a year ago.... we’re planning on going by ferry.. fingers crossed we can still go!

Brian Turner
Image: Archant library

Brian Turner Image: Archant library - Credit: Archant

Anna Foster, co-presenter BBC Radio 5 Live’s drivetime

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

Visiting: The Piece Hall. I love wandering with the family, eating ice cream, admiring the beautiful architecture. It’s the perfect place to browse, and we’ve all missed doing that. I’ve also got a spa day voucher for Rudding Park waiting to be used - a huge treat.

Shopping: Jewella in Halifax, full of beautiful, jewellery that has the wow factor. I’m also coveting a trip to Neom in Leeds, their ‘Scent to de-Stress’ range is amazing and nothing matches being in the store and breathing in great big lungfuls of it.

Eating: We discovered the Moorcock at Norland through the delicious takeaway pizzas they adapted to during lockdown, so now I really want to eat there. Engine in Sowerby Bridge is also big favourite.

Planning for: I’ve just got back into running and I’m planning to enter some local 10k events to test myself.

Stephanie Moon
Image: Graham Lindley

Stephanie Moon Image: Graham Lindley - Credit: Archant

Brian Turner, chef

As lockdown eases, I’m looking forward to

Visiting: I cannot wait to get back to Whitby, that wonderful view from the top of the moors overlooking the bay and the fantastic atmosphere created by the masses of visitors that we know will come back.

Shopping: I am not the world’s best shopper but I do love to shop around for the best fish and chips in the part of a county that I happen to be!

Eating: As I have mentioned I love fish and chips but I am also a great fan of the gastronomic food produced by our great Yorkshire chefs and on my list at the moment- I am desperate to go and eat with Frances Atkins, Andrew Pern, Jonathan Harrison and James Mackenzie in their restaurants.

Planning for: Seeing my mates in the Yorkshire Dales and up and down the Yorkshire coast, they know who they are!

Graeme Park
Image: submitted

Graeme Park Image: submitted - Credit: Archant

Stephanie Moon, chef

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

Visiting: Family of course and friends. Finally finishing our delayed Dales way walk - we only have ten miles left and it has been months cannot wait to finish this trail.

Shopping: For food of course! I have loved buying from local farm shops over lockdown and still will continue to do so, the quality of foods in Yorkshire is second to none. With farm shops you get to enjoy … reaching for the earthiest potatoes and plucking for the ripest fruits , and don’t get me started on Yorkshire cheese! it is always a pleasure for me to shop for food. People who know me laugh I can spend hours shopping for food and minutes shopping for a pair of shoes or trousers!

Eating: Thank goodness restaurants and hotels and cafes are coming back, so many fine places to eat in Yorkshire. Nothing beats the sun terrace at Rudding Park and its reopening is exciting. Papas restaurant in Harrogate was one of the last places I ate at before lockdown and we had a great night. But nothing beats a Thomas the Baker sausage roll out of the wrapper when walking in a park – don’t you think?

Planning for: My YouTube channel and new website launches in July - please check out You Tube Stephanie Moon Chef. My main focus business wise now is helping catering businesses come back after Covid-19 and streamline their businesses and avoid waste - it’s a busy but I am loving it.

Ian McMillan
Image: Submitted

Ian McMillan Image: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Graeme Park, DJ

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

Visiting: As soon as it’s safe and viable, I’m looking forward to booking a day in the superb roof top spa at Rudding Park in Harrogate. I love the social aspect of the spa and its outdoor pool and eating area. It’s unadulterated luxury in magnificent parkland surroundings and a day of massages, great food, relaxation, conversation (if you want it) or solitude is the perfect antidote to the various stresses of the past few months.

Shopping: Although, like most people, I’ve been doing most of my shopping online since lockdown began, you can’t beat strolling around the narrow and winding streets of York with its plethora of independent shops. I usually add to my hat collection when visiting and always pick up some great food (especially cheeses) and even pieces of art while taking in the wonderful ambience and unique atmosphere of this wonderful city.

Eating: One of my oldest friends lives in Harrogate and I can’t wait to meet him for a glorious meal at the fabulous Ivy restaurant right in the centre of town. Our preference is always to sit outside right at the back of the restaurant and enjoy some amazing food and service while we catch up. The atmosphere here is great too. Although I’m a meat eater, I absolutely love their vegan and vegetarian menus which are full of flavour. Their sweet potato curry is probably my favourite which I always accompany with a cold Lucky Saint, my favourite alcohol free beer.

Planning for: It’s difficult to plan for anything right now. I’ve spent most weekends since 1984 either DJing or performing live and have never spent so many weekends at home as I have for the past three months. The night-time economy is worth tens of billions of pounds to the UK economy, but it’s overall worth is much more than that.I’m a patron of the glorious Piece Hall in Halifax and for the past couple of years I’ve performed there around Christmas but have absolutely no idea whether or not we can do it again this year.I’m eager to get back on the decks or perform with the Haçienda Classical show soon.

Paul robinson
Image: Tony Bartholemew

Paul robinson Image: Tony Bartholemew - Credit: Archant

Ian McMillan, poet

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

Visiting: The lovely TeeCup cafe in Elsecar Park and having sausage, chips and beans. Elsecar Park is a beautiful spot in Barnsley Borough and is part of the extensive area around the former pit village of Elsecar that used to be part of Earl Fitzwilliam’s estate. Before the lockdown, my wife and I promised ourselves a lovely indulgent lunch there; we might even have a slice of bread and butter with the chips!

I’m looking forward to helping to reopen the Maurice Dobson Museum in Darfield, Barnsley (darfieldmuseum.co.uk), where I live. I’m a volunteer there and it’s been heartbreaking to see it closed. I serve in the cafe, toasting teacakes and washing up.

Planning for: I’ve got to admit I’m worried about the medium-term future for the performing arts without a massive injection of cash, but I think in the area of community art and arts for health we’ve got a chance to unlock vast amounts of creativity at a local and regional level.”


Elly Fiorentini
Image: BBC

Elly Fiorentini Image: BBC - Credit: Archant

Paul Robinson, Artistic Director at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

Visiting: The Forbidden Corner, near Middleham. It calls itself ‘the strangest place in the world’, and it’s not wrong – my kids think it’s brilliant! We’ll have to wait until next year now, but we all look forward to the annual Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage each September. Scarborough Castle is just up the road, and a great day out. And we love the tranquillity (and the tea rooms) at Falling Foss, a magical waterfall in the North York Moors National Park.

Shopping: Homebird House, a unique treasure trove of gifts and homewares opposite Scarborough’s Market Hall, which we like to visit for its excellent stalls upstairs and warren of tiny shops in the vaults below. There are some lovely independents on Bar Street, in the town centre, too.

Eating: Fish and chips at the world famous Magpie Café in Whitby. And – hurrah! – at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, where we’re going to be playing host to a ‘pop-up’ version of the town’s award-winning Eat Me Café for the foreseeable future – it’s much easier for them to manage social distancing in our spacious bar lounge.

Planning for: the future of the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Lockdown has been hard on everyone, and theatre has been particularly hard-hit because it’s live entertainment. But we’re optimistic and enjoying the challenge of coming up with creative ways to work within current restrictions – watch this space!

Charles Mills
Image: Simon Dewhurst

Charles Mills Image: Simon Dewhurst - Credit: Archant

Elly Fiorentini, BBC Radio York

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

Visiting: I long for Scarborough beach with long walks, a trip on the open air bus topped off with a visit to my favourite harbour eatery for scampi and a glass of something chilled. Hopefully I’ll get to visit and meet some of the people I’ve talked about on our Make A Difference bulletins at BBC Radio York.

Shopping: I’ve been working from home and makeup hasn’t been a top priority but I am looking forward to going to my favourite makeup counter in a York store to get some new colours and refill my makeup bag. I’m also looking forward to visiting some of the independent clothes shops in Easingwold, Helmsley and Scarborough. I want to support local independents as much as I can.

Eating: My husband and I love eating out and we have really missed this. We’ll eventually go to our favourite Italian in York, and we can’t wait to meet up with friends.

Planning for: We have planned a trip to the Yorkshire Dales to stay in a friend’s hotel. We should have been in France. It’ll be fun to drive around one of the most beautiful parts of the county and we’ll call in on a couple of friends – what’s not to like?

Janette Benadi
Image: Ben Duffy

Janette Benadi Image: Ben Duffy - Credit: Archant

Charles Mills, Show Director, Great Yorkshire Show

As lockdown eases, I’m looking forward to:

Visiting: Our friends are all important to us. Chat and lots of laughs on a trip to Whitby with fish and chips by the harbour followed by a work out that is the 199 steps up to the Abbey.

Shopping: I’m not a big shopper so this won’t be a standard response because my shopping will be done in a livestock auction market buying some more sheep.

Eating: An easy one for me. I’ll enjoy a post lockdown meal in Fodder on the Showground. Great Yorkshire food prepared and served by first rate staff, wonderful views and I can even park without paying!

Planning for: The Great Yorkshire Show 2021. I can’t wait to get back to work with our terrific show team and hundreds of volunteer stewards to put together the country’s best agricultural show ever.

Frances Davies
Image: Ben Duffy

Frances Davies Image: Ben Duffy - Credit: Archant

Janette Benaddi, Yorkshire Rows

As lockdown eases, I’m looking forward to

Visiting: My family and friends. I have missed them all, when I was out on the ocean for 657 days what I missed most was being with my family and friends, and lockdown brought back those same sad feelings, missing the hugs, kisses, laughter, joy and love of being with the people who are most important in your life. You can never get used to not being with your loved ones, you just learn to cope with it from day-to-day I think. It will be incredible to spend time with them again, my heart and soul will fill with joy when I see them.

Shopping: I have never really been a shopper, however it will be good when we don’t have to queue to get into the shops. I mostly shop online anyway so it’s not been such a hardship.

Eating: More sensibly and in a more healthy way. When life is not normal and you’re confined to the house it’s easy to binge on very unhealthy stuff like chocolate and wine. I admit I have binged a little and I am sure I am not the only one so it will be nice to get back to being a little more healthy when I no longer have lockdown as an excuse.

Planning: Holidays, definitely holidays. I love to go places, see new things and enjoy sailing so it will be great to be able to finally be free to travel. I have found not being able to travel really restricting.

Frances Davies, Yorkshire Rows

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

Visiting: Family and friends is the obvious answer of course - but also getting out properly for long walks and runs in the countryside

Shopping: Nothing really - I’ve found it refreshing not buying anything I didn’t absolutely need

Eating: Visiting a café for a great piece of lemon drizzle cake accompanied by a cappuccino

Planning for: So many things - I’ve really missed taking part in cycling sportives. By this time of the year I’ve usually already done four or five. Planning lots of travelling - likely to be more overland though. I think I’ll be avoiding planes for a while! In lockdown I’ve been listening to travel podcasts and reading travel books and magazines - I have a very long list of destinations!

Steve Duncan, CEO Community Foundation for Calderdale

As Lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

Keeping up my health regime. The pandemic has made me view a lot of things afresh and make some positive changes to my diet and fitness. I purchased an E-bike and am looking forward to cycling backwards and forwards to work. We live in the countryside and have done a lot of walking during lockdown - which has been good to get outdoors and really explore this wonderful part of West Yorkshire.

Visiting: Elland Road. My most missed thing has probably been football. I’m an ardent Leeds United supporter, it’s been an amazing season for the club. It’ll be good to be back sitting in my regular seat at Elland Road and enjoying the whole matchday routine of picking my son up, going to the ground and soaking up the big match atmosphere

Shopping: I’m a staunch advocate of buying local. There are so many amazing businesses in Calderdale and it’s going to be so important to support them as we come out of lockdown. It’s our duty too to get out and start spending with them - even just a fiver or a tenner - we all need to pull together.

Eating: We’ve really missed the social side of dining in some great restaurants here in Calderdale. Gimbals in Sowerby Bridge, Aux Delices in Mytholmroyd and Cafe Thai in West Vale are just wonderful and we can’t wait to get back.

Planning for: A holiday! Like everyone. My wife is from Scotland and recently we bought a caravan which we plan to take to just north of Fort William.

John Godber, playwright

As lockdown eases I’m looking forward to:

We went into lockdown early, we were performing my new play, Angels of the North, at the East Riding Theatre in Beverley after having opened in Wakefield. We cancelled the remaining sold out performances. Like many, we went into a fastidious lockdown: since (my wife) Jane and I have elderly parents we had to respect all aspects of the policy. I set about writing a radio drama for something to give us focus. Essentials, is a kind of Yorkshire Archers: 15 eight-minute episodes all set around the breakfast table of a key worker dad and his family, as they wrestle with lockdown fever. They aired on Radio Humberside and Radio Lincolnshire. It’s been so gratifying having made something at home with the family, that others have found interesting. The project saw us through April.

Visiting: As things get back to normal I realise how much I miss the theatre, and by association, eating out. Despite any number of so-called experts predicting how theatre will function in the future, the truth is no-one knows. I to say that it feels pretty existential for theatre, and with the absence of a vaccine no one is sure if audiences will return in big numbers, or what they will want to see.

Shopping: The more I’ve ordered online the weaker my desire has grown to go back out shopping;

Eating: Carluccio’s in Beverley will certainly be on my list, as will Cafe Velo in Beverley too, Pasco’s in Cottingham, and Jolsha Indian takeaway in Hessle.

For more celebrity interviews, join our Facebook page, see us on Twitter and Instagram