Colchester is home to a lot of famous faces.

From Dermot O’Leary to Damon Albarn, the town has produced a lot of big names.

While you might have been well aware of the celebrities come from the town - do you know which schools they attended?

Plenty of celebrities were educated right on our doorstep and may have even found their love for music or acting behind the school gates.

Here are some celebrities who were educated in Colchester:

Colchester Institute


Sade, who used to live in West Bergholt, became one of the biggest stars of the Eighties with her 1984 debut album Diamond Life and single Smooth Operator.

The ex-Clacton County High School and Colchester Institute student went on to become the UK’s top-selling female artist in the States and sold more than 50million albums.

Sade – real name Helen Folasade Adu – received an OBE for services to music in 2002.

Colchester Sixth From

Dermot O’Leary


Born in Colchester in 1973 he attended Colchester 6th Form College.

He went on to gain a BA degree in Media & Television and worked as a DJ for BBC Radio Essex.

His career has included presenting Big Brother's Little Brother and the X Factor.

Colchester County High School for Girls

Beth Chatto


Mrs Chatto began work on her gardens, then just an overgrown wasteland of brambles, in 1960 and went on to win ten gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show in the space of just 11 years.

She transformed the boggy wasteland, in Elmstead Market, using plants adapted by nature to thrive in different conditions, creating an inspirational, informal sanctuary.

When the garden began it was a private garden for her family home.

Mrs Chatto died, aged 94, in 2018.

Saskia Clark


Alongside Hannah Mills, Saskia, 42, of West Mersea, won silver in the 470 class at London 2012 and went one better to win gold at Rio 2016.

Saskia was also made an MBE.

Stella Creasy

Stella, 45, is the Labour MP for Walthamstow and has been since 2010.

During her school days she was a fiesty, politically-aware student at Colchester County High School for Girls.

In one story she previously recounted to the Gazette she revealed how school was hosting a question-and-answer session with Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin and she was going to make the most of it.

She said: “He had just been elected and came to talk to the students.Ichallenged him on a number of issues, including the VAT on tampons, which was 20 per cent at the time.

“The headteacher Dr Black said if I did not stop I would be excluded. She was mortified.”

Stanway School

Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon


Colchester is famously the home town to Britpop group Blur.

Damon Albarn, the group's lead singer and guitarist Graham Coxon went to Stanway School.

They formed Blur with Alex James and Dave Rowntree whilst studying together at Goldsmith's College, London.

Originally known as ‘Seymour' they performed at venues across the town, later moving to London and changing their name to Blur in the process.

Sir Charles Lucas (now Colchester Academy)

Darren Day


Darren, 53, was born in the town and went to school here.

Darren, who made his name on the West End stage, starring in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, has appeared on I’m A Celebrity and Celebrity Big Brother.

Last year he attempted to get a Christmas number one with reality star Gemma Collins.

Colchester Royal Grammar School

Jan Pinkava


Jan Pinkava came to Colchester in 1969 aged five after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and went on to become known as the creator of family-favourite Pixar movie Ratatouille.

He was educated at Colchester Royal Grammar School.

The honorary University of Essex graduate says he is “forever proud” to be British thanks to the generosity of the country upon his family’s arrival.

Thurstable School

Jeff Brazier

Gazette: Jeff Brazier. Picture: PAJeff Brazier. Picture: PA

TV and radio presenter Jeff, 42, was born and grew up in nearby Tiptree.

He has appeared on Dancing on Ice and Celebrity Masterchef and also an ambassador for People's Postcode Lottery.

He has in recent times spoken out about mental health after helping his two boys through the devastating death of their mother, Jade Goody, in 2009