Paul Hogan (Film Star)
The former pool lifeguard, union organizer and Sydney Harbour Bridge scaffolder who stumbled onto the telly in 1972 when his workmates dared him to enter a talent show.
That character (who never wore a suit save in jest; who talked, Hogan said, “like the guys down at the pub”; and who could spot a poser a mile off) was assertively working-class, unashamedly Australian, and enormously popular. As Hoges the footy-loving pub philosopher of The Paul Hogan Show, and as Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee, the bushman who conquers New York with a grin, a “G~day” and a big knife, Paul Hogan made himself into an emblem of Australianness–and sold it to the world.
Adrian Chiles (TV Personality)
Chiles was born in Quinton, Birmingham, to an English father and Croatian mother, and moved a few miles away to Hagley, Worcestershireat age four.
A feature of his presentations is his Birmingham accent. He also speaks Croatian, despite having a self-confessed imperfect understanding of the language’s verbs, declensions, and cases. Chiles started his education at Haybridge High School, and then worked in his father’s scaffolding business, before graduating with a degree in English Literature from the University of London (studying at Westfield College, now part of Queen Mary, University of London).
Richard Dunn (Boxer)
Richard achieved his 15 minutes of fame in May 1976, when a brave but futile assault on Muhammad Ali’s world heavyweight title that ended after five one-sided rounds. Despite the beating, Dunn fondly looks back on the night in Munich as ‘the greatest thrill of my sporting life’.
Dunn earned his opportunity following a run of success that yielded British, Commonwealth and European titles. His achievements were sufficient to have a sports centre in his native Bradford named after him.
However, five months after the Ali defeat, Dunn lost all three titles to Joe Bugner.
The intervening years have been difficult. After losing most of his ring earnings when a hotel venture collapsed, Dunn returned to scaffolding, a decision which almost cost him his life.
In December 1989, while working on an oil rig, he fell 40 feet, shattering both legs below the knee. The injuries have responded poorly to treatment and he will undergo further surgery in July.
Now a grandfather, he lives in Scarborough with his wife.
Tom Davis (Comedian)
Tom spent most of his adult life as a market trader and scaffolder; his first break into comedy came in April 2005 by answering a newspaper advert for people with interesting stories about the 1980’s.
Tom thought it would be a perfect platform to try out one of his comedy creations on the unsuspecting public – Steve Matthews, a luckless loser from Salford. He managed to blag the whole day as his alter ego and was hooked. Since then, Tom hasn’t looked back and has been able to create a world of characters, which he can slip in and out of at the drop of a hat.
Gary Wilmot (Actor)
Wilmot’s father Harry was a member of The Southlanders and died in 1961, when Gary was six years old – his father was the bass voice that sang the famous line “I Am A Mole And I Live In A Hole”.
Despite these show business roots, his upbringing was outside of the limelight, and his first jobs were relatively low-key occupations; he was employed as a scaffolder, forklift truck driver and messenger before entering show business.
Richard Cole (Music Promoter for Led Zepplin)
Cole was from Kensal Rise, in the north London borough of Brent. His father was an architect who worked for Rolls Royce vehicle design, and later in aircraft assembly during World War II.
At age twelve, Cole became interested in music after hearing Elvis Presley and The Everly Brothers. At age fifteen he quit school and with his first job working at a dairy factory in Acton, earned enough money to purchase a drumkit, to which he practiced along to Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa records.
The low wages forced Cole to take up an apprenticeship in sheet-metal working whilst also working as a scaffolder on construction sites. He was also very interested in the fashion industry, at one point harbouring plans to be a fashion designer, and he claims to have designed the shirts worn by John Lennon and Ringo Starr on the Revolver album cover.