A List of Famous East Londoners
East London is becoming ever more popular. Its boroughs and neighbourhoods are becoming absolute property hotspots welcoming an increasing number of new residents attracted by its unbeatable charm and convenience. You probably know that already. What you may not know is that East London was and, in some cases, still is home to many notable figures. Read on to find out which celebrities have their origins in East London.
Everyone loves shoes, right? So, let’s start off with one of everyone’s favourite shoe designers. It’s Jimmy Choo, ladies and gentlemen. The one and only.
Jimmy Choo is originally from Penang, Malaya. He was born into a family of… you guessed it: shoemakers. Although his name is actually Jimmy Chow, he is now known all over the world as Jimmy Choo due to a misspelled birth certificate.
He learned the art of hand-making shoes from his father and made his first pair of slippers at the young age of 11. Jimmy Choo was a student of the Cordwainers Technical College in Hackney between 1982 and 1984. Nowadays, the college is part of the London College of Fashion. In 1986 he opened his first shoe store in an old hospital building and in 1988 he made it big after making a splash at London Fashion Week.
The world-famous fashion magazine Vogue actually featured an 8-page spread on Jimmy Choo’s amazing creations and let’s not forget he was one of Princess Diana’s favourite shoe designers.
Jimmy Choo is currently involved in opening a shoe design institute in Malaysia and continues work on the exclusive Jimmy Choo couture line.
Continuing the list of well-loved celebrities, we can’t not talk about Idris Elba. We all know and love him for his roles in series like The Wire and Luther, or in movies such as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Thor.
This appreciated actor was born Idrissa Akuna Elba OBE on 6 September 1972. His father, who worked at the Ford Dagenham plant, was from Sierra Leone and his mother was from Ghana. Idris was born in the East London Borough of Hackney and later moved to East Ham. He went to school in Canning Town, which is where he decided to shorten his first name and go by “Idris”. That is also where he first got a taste of acting. And, lucky for us, he hasn’t stopped since.
In 1988, Idris Elba won a scholarship at the National Youth Music Theatre and continued to pursue an acting career in between side-jobs like tire-fitting and night shifts at the Ford Dagenham plant.
A little-known fact is that apart from being a high-ranking Hollywood actor, Idris Elba is also a DJ. Specifically, he is DJ Big Driis the Londoner. He started DJ-ing when he was assisting his wedding-planner uncle and continues to enjoy producing and creating music to this day. The East London native is now juggling a full career as an internationally renowned actor and superstar, as well as a music DJ, producer, rapper, singer, and songwriter.
Not only is Sir Alfred Hitchcock from East London. He has basically lived in every corner of it.
Born in 1899, Hitchcock first lived at 517 High Road, Leytonstone. At the time, this East London district was a part of Essex. At the age of six, Alfred Hitchcock’s family moved to Limehouse, in the Borough of Tower Hamlets. His family ran a fish-and-chips shop nearby and also a fishmongers’ above which they also resided. Alfred Hitchcock attended the Howrah House Convent school in Poplar starting in 1907. He then went on to attend Wode Street School.
By the time he was 11, the Hitchcock family moved once again. This time to Stepney, also in the Borough of Tower Hamlets. As an adolescent, he attended St Ignatius College in Stamford Hill, Tottenham.
As an adult, Alfred Hitchcock went on to become of the most influential filmmakers to ever be, known as the “Master of Suspense”. He directed, produced, and wrote screenplays for tens of highly-acclaimed films and win 46 Oscar nominations and 6 statuettes.
His most famous films include The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927), The 39 Steps (1935), The Lady Vanishes (1938), Rebecca (1940), Lifeboat (1944), and Spellbound (1945). After 1950, he achieved worldwide success with films like Dial M For Murder (1954), Vertigo (1958), and Psycho (1960). In 2012, Vertigo was named “the greatest film ever made” by the British Film Institute.
No list of famous celebrities from East London is complete without David Beckham. Safe to say one of the most beloved football players of all time, David Beckham was born at Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, East London. His parents got married in the London Borough of Hackney in 1969.
David Beckham spent his young life playing football in Ridgeway Park, Chingford, and studied at Chase Lane Primary School and Chingford County High School. He played football for the local church team and frequently travelled with his family to support Manchester United in Old Trafford.
As a child, he played for a local youth team called Ridgeway Rovers. His father was coach alongside Steve Kirby and Stuart Underwood. David also took on the role of mascot for a Manchester United match against West Ham United in 1986. He attended Tottenham Hotspur’s school of excellence and went on to play for them. David also played for two years in the youth team of the Brimsdown Rovers and finally made it to Manchester United’s Youth Training Scheme in 1991.
The rest is already a piece of history. David Beckham played for the world’s most famous teams such as Real Madrid, Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain. He won league titles in four countries and 19 major football trophies.
Today, David Beckham is president & co-owner of Inter Miami CF and co-owner of Salford City and lives a happy life with his wife, Victoria Beckham, and their four children.