Reading is a quiet town on the Western edge of Berkshire. It is south of Oxford and about 30 miles west of London. For a medium sized town it has several famous residents. Berkshire is the Royal County with Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II having a residence at Windsor Castle.
Reading can also boast a Royal connection, with the Middleton’s hailing from Bucklebury just outside of Reading. Kate Middleton, wed Prince William in 2011 and will probably be Queen one day herself. She grew up with her siblings, James and Pippa, in the beautiful village of Bucklebury near Reading.
Home Secretary, Theresa May, also has a home on the outskirts of Reading in pretty Sonning which sits on the banks of the River Thames. May, who has been a Conservative Cabinet member for the past 5 years, represents her constituency of Maidenhead. She has been an MP since 1997 and held a number of cabinet positions. She is also currently the Patron of Reading University Conservative Association, the largest political student group in Berkshire.
One of May’s neighbours in the beautiful village of Sonning is none other than Hollywood heartthrob, George Clooney. Although, how much time he spends there is dependent upon his filming schedule. He married London based solicitor Amal Alamuddin in 2014 in Italy before they purchased a large property on the Thames shortly afterwards. Clooney is the star of hit movies such as Ocean’s Eleven, The American and Gravity having made his name many years ago on hit US TV drama ER. It seems that the trappings of Hollywood have followed the Clooneys over here as along with a housekeeper and private chef, it is rumoured that they have hired a Reading personal trainer to keep them in shape.
Patron of the local football club and with the stadium also named after him, local celebrity Sir John Madejski is based in Reading. As club Chairman of Reading FC, Madejski can often be seen at the stadium named after him. He is a successful local business man and also Chancellor of the University of Reading. Madejski was knighted in the New Year’s Honours List in 2009.
Uri Geller, the illusionist, is also a Reading resident, having a property on the Thames just outside the Berkshire town. Originally from Israel, Geller is famous for bending spoons and other so called telekinetic activities. He regularly appears on British TV as a pseudo celebrity and was also a very close friend of the late Michael Jackson. His house in Sonning is famous for its helipad which he claims he bought for his wife!
Even though she no longer resides there, Oscar winning actress, Kate Winslett, was born in Reading and went to Theatre School in Maidenhead. She made her screen debut in 1991 and starred in her first feature film, Heavenly Creatures, in 1994. She was the star of global hit film Titanic, with Leonardo DiCaprio, but won her Oscar for her role as former concentration camp guard in The Reader, opposite Ralph Fiennes.
Other notable celebrities with connections to Reading include Cormac Murphy O’Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster, Chris Tarrant, the TV presenter and Michael Bond, the creator of Paddington Bear. For such a small town it has had its fair share of celebrity and fame.