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30 things you didn't know about St Albans
A list of fascinating facts about St Albans you probably didn't know. Plus a few about Hatfield and Harpenden thrown in for good measure.
1. Ali G aka Sacha Baron Cohen attended St Columba’s School, St Albans...until he moved on to Habs.
2. St Albans is referenced in the following songs: There was a time by Donovan, Swiss Cottage Manoeuvres by Al Stewart, Go Cut Creator by LL Cool J, All Eyes on the Saint by Enter Shikari.
3. Whereas Hatfield is referenced in the following songs: Hatfield by Widespread Panic, Hatfield 1980 by Everything But The Girl.
4. Mcfly's Harry Judd and his wife Izzy married in St Nicholas’s Church in Harpenden.
5. Jason Priestly, from the original Beverly Hills 90210, has said that he feels a kinship with Brits, even though he is from Canada, as his wife is from St. Albans.
6. St Albans was recently referenced in television sitcom Benidorm –As the Dyke family hail from there.
7. Rod Argent, from The Zombies, was a member of St Albans Cathedral choir. That along with piano lessons was his only early musical education.
8. Colin Blunstone, another member of The Zombies, was born ten days after Rod Argent, and seven miles away from Rod’s St Albans home. Colin was born in Hatfield.
The Zombies playing at Watford Town Hall in 1964
9. Colin Blunstone was also prefect at St. Albans Boys Grammar School (now Verulam School).
10. Friendly Fires met at St Albans School, forming their band at 14.
11. Craig Charles, comedian and actor in Red Dwarf and Coronation Street and host of the Funk and Soul Show and Robot Wars currently lives in Harpenden.
12. Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore lives in Harpenden.
13. Tom Cruise is said to have ordered lobster and chicken tikka masala when he visited Veer Dhara in St Albans.
Darshit Hora, owner of Veer Dhara, holding Tom Cruise's receipt
14. Paul Cattermole, former member of S Club 7, was born in St Albans and is said to have attended Marlborough school.
15. Donovan, Songwriter and folk singer lived in St. Albans during the 1960s.
16. TV comic Benny Hill lived in St Albans.
17. The Hot Cross Bun is said to originate in St Albans. Brother Thomas Rocliffe, a 14th Century monk attached to the refectory at St Albans Monastery, developed an original recipe and distributed the bun to the local poor on Good Friday, starting in 1381.
18. Singer David Essex lives in St Albans.
19. Siobhan Fahey, singer from Bananarama and Shakespear's Sister, lived in Harpenden for two years when she moved with her family aged 14. She attended Loreto College.
20. Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was educated at St Albans School
21. Everyone knows that all the members of Enter Shikari were born and raised in St Albans...but did you know they wrote a song about H&H Fried chicken and kebabs in Victoria Street?
22. Amongst the best known acts of the British folk revival, Steeleye Span has links to St Albans...its former guitarist Tim Hart lived in St Albans and attended St Albans School. He started his musical career singing in The Goat along with his sister Kathy. Their father, Rev Dennis Hart, was vicar of St. Saviours.
23. Ardal O’Hanlon, better known as Dougal from Father Ted, lives in St Albans.
24. Lyricist Tim Rice attended St Albans School.
25. Actor and comedian John Sessions attended St Albans Boys' Grammar School (now Verulam School) and is patron of St Albans Arts.
26. The 1957 April Fool's Day spoof edition of BBC documentary series Panorama, which dealt with the fictitious Swiss spaghetti harvest, was filmed partly at the (now closed) Pasta Foods factory on London Road, St Albans.
27. The 2001 film Birthday Girl, featuring Nicole Kidman and Ben Chaplin, is set in St Albans. Part of the St Albans set was rebuilt in Australia, where her then husband Tom Cruise was filming, so she could be with him.
28. A number of places across the world are named after the City of St Albans, most notably in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
29. St Albans was the name of a planet in the cult science-fiction television series Firefly.
30. Childwickbury goats cheese was at Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Kate’s wedding.
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