High50.com is all about celebrating being in your fifties, and some of our favourite British faces are turning 50 this year.
- Paul Hollywood 1 March
The UK’s joint-favourite (with Mary Berry) baker is 50 on 10 February. Fans of the twinkly-eyed cookery show judge can see him on The Great Sport Relief Bake Off on 27 January, looking out for soggy bottoms from John Simpson, Samantha Cameron and Alison Steadman, and very likely back on GBBO later in the year.
2. Chris Evans 1 April
Evans was confirmed as the lead Top Gear presenter in June 2015, replacing Jeremy Clarkson, and recently said that starting on the show was a ‘baptism of fire‘. He’ll turn 50 in April, and has probably never been busier, presenting the breakfast show on Radio 2 as well as gearing up to front Top Gear in May, the BBC’s most successful export.
3. Lisa Stansfield 11 April
Stansfield co-wrote and recorded ‘People hold on’ for the band Coldcut in 1989 and made her name with the single ‘All around the world’ after she was signed to Arista Records as a solo artist later that year.
Her first album Affection reached number 2 in the UK charts and she’s sold more than 20 million albums to date, won two BRIT awards and has been nominated for a Grammy.
4. Samantha Fox 15 April
Sam Fox is probably Britain’s best-known Page 3 girl, first appearing in The Sun’s topless spot in 1983 when she was 16, and continuing to model for the paper until she was 20. She launched a music career in 1986, with her single ‘Touch me (I want your body)’ topping the charts in 17 countries.
She has sold 30 million albums. In 2003, she stated that she was in love with her manager, Myra Stratton, to whom she got engaged in 2009. Stratton died from cancer in August 2015.
5. Alison Goldfrapp 13 May
‘Cyber glam’ is how NME described Goldfrapp’s eponymous band (which she founded with Will Gregory in 1999) in a review of the band’s 2013 album ‘Tales of us‘ and Alison Goldfrapp is a master of image-making. Famous for her mini-skirts and bleached-blonde curls, she then ditched them, preferring a floor-length black gown to perform in a church in 2013.
In December 2015 she wrote a letter to fans on her website saying a highlight of the past few years was performing ‘Tales of us’ at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2014.
6. Greg Wise 15 May
Wise is set to star in Netflix’s latest big-budget offering The Crown, charting the life of the Queen and her relationship with her Prime Ministers (one of whom turns 50 this year, see below).
He is reported to feature as the Queen’s cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten. He is probably best known for his role as John Willougby in a 1995 film of Sense and Sensibility, in which he met future wife Emma Thompson.
7. Helena Bonham Carter 26 May
Known for her quirky dress sense almost as much as her starring movie roles in The King’s Speech, Fight Club and the Harry Potter franchise, Bonham Carter will be 50 on 26 May. She was made a CBE in 2012, has won a BAFTA and an International Emmy Award, and has been nominated for two Academy Awards and seven Gold Globes.
8. Annabel Croft 12 July
Croft is a former British number one tennis player who retired from professional competitions in 1988, aged only 21. She became the presenter of Channel 4’s outdoor game show Treasure Hunt and is now a pundit who runs her own sporting academy in Cyprus, as well as coaching in the Algarve and Sardinia.
9. Tamsin Greig 12 July
‘Tremendous’, ‘irresistible’, ‘she has us hooked’ are how critics described Grieg’s performance in ‘Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown’ at London’s Playhouse theatre this time last year. She is known for her role as the erratic Dr Caroline Todd in Green Wing and as a Jewish mother in Friday Night Dinner – and for her effortless ability to make audiences laugh.
10. Ruth Jones 22 September
The Gavin and Stacey writer and star was made an MBE in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to entertainment, and the series itself won two BAFTAs and four British Comedy Awards. Her current project is Stella, in which she features as a single mum raising her three children in Pontyberry, in the heart of the Welsh valleys.
11. David Cameron 9 October
Our Prime Minister will be 50 this year: some would say the youthful-featured Cameron doesn’t look a day older than he did when he took office in 2010.
The Conservative Party’s win at the General Election in 2015 came as a shock to the polls, and since then the PM had his work cut out, dealing with international terrorism, the migrant crisis and flooding, so the greys may be showing by the time he reaches his half century in the autumn.
12. Gordon Ramsay 8 November
One of the UK’s most successful chefs turns 50 later, and he has an empire of restaurants in which to celebrate, with 14 venues in London alone, as well as outposts in Singapore, Las Vegas, Bordeaux, Doha, Florence and Dubai.
His original Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London holds three Michelin stars but as well as his culinary skills, Ramsay is known for his colourful personality, which has made hits of TV shows such as Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares.
13. Sinead O’Connor 8 December
O’Connor’s version of the Prince song ‘Nothing compares 2 U’ shot to number one in the charts in 13 countries in 1990, making her a worldwide success. She has released ten solo albums and has been outspoken about religion, women’s rights and child abuse. In 2013 she wrote an open letter to the pop star Miley Cyrus, saying: “Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality”.