Three Famous Wiganers


The first was quite surprising to me, and that’s Rick Astley who apparently went to a school in Wigan but is originally from Newton-le- Willows. Best known for his 1987 track ‘Never Gonna Give You Up,’ this song became a recent meme within my group of friends, but back in the day was certainly popular with it being a number one single in 25 countries. Of course he is still making music to this day, and if a homecoming show was ever to be announced, I’m sure that my Nan would be front row.


Following in the same musical direction, the 90s band The Verve are also a pride of Wigan, and their track ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ is still a well-known song to this day. A claim to fame in our family is that lead singer Richard Ashcroft actually used to have a ‘thing’ for my mum back in their teenage years. So much so that he used to play guitar and sing for her, she’s a lucky girl eh? Although it would be weird to call him dad…


Finally, more of an historical figure is the great George Orwell, best known for his novels ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm.’ During my English literature days, Animal Farm was a book that I had to study, and I certainly grew a love for with its underlying political message and creative characters. As for the man himself, more recently the George Orwell society paid a visit to The Old Courts for a tour of the building, and a performance was held at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts for the 80th anniversary of Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier. This great literary figure is just one of many people who have shed some light on Wigan to the world, and hopefully more will do the same in the future!

WiganRyan NoakesFun