MANY famous talents and their families have called the borough of Colchester their home - or have spent time enjoying its attractions. 

We asked readers to tell us their experiences meeting or spotting celebrities in Colchester over the years. 

Here are some of the most popular responses we received. 

John Cooper Clarke

Gazette: John Cooper ClarkeJohn Cooper Clarke

Quite a few readers mentioned the famous poet, who has lived in Colchester for more than 25 years. 

One reader said: “I saw ‘JCC’ in Hythe Tesco the other day, which surprised me as I usually see him in Waitrose!” 

The performance poet first achieved fame as a ‘punk poet’ in the late 1970s.

He has performed on stage with several punk and post-punk bands and continues to perform regularly.

Joan Hickson

Gazette: Joan HicksonJoan Hickson

The late great Joan Hickson, known for her role as Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple for many years, lived for much of her life in Wivenhoe. 

From 1958, she lived in Rose Lane, until her death in 1998. 

A plaque now marks the house where she lived for 40 years.

One reader said: “Miss Marple was a regular customer I served at the shoe shop I use to work.”

Another added: “Joan used to come into the bank in Wivenhoe every week when I worked there. She was charming.”

Harry Enfield 

Gazette: Harry Enfield. Picture: PAHarry Enfield. Picture: PA

The comedian, actor, writer and director needs little introduction.

He is known in particular for his television work, including Harry Enfield's Television Programme and Harry & Paul.

Several readers mentioned spotting him in rural areas around Colchester and wider Essex. 

One said: “He was buying milk and cigarettes in the little village shop in Layer De La Haye. His parents used to live there too. Lovely guy.”

Michael Caine

Gazette: Michael Caine. Picture: PAMichael Caine. Picture: PA

A few people also mentioned acting legend Michael Caine. It seems he has been in the area several times while filming or visiting. 

One reader said: “Saw Michael Caine walk past Boots when he was making the Forth Protocol.” 

Another added: “Filming on the a12 Chelmsford bypass just before it opened.”

Helena Bonham Carter

Gazette: Helena Bonham CarterHelena Bonham Carter

A few readers also mentioned this legendary actress, several suggesting she makes regular visits to family in the area. 

One reader said they spotted the star in Williams and Griffin. 

Another said: “Her cousin lives in West Bergholt and I believe she visits quite often.”

Olly Murs

Gazette: Olly MursOlly Murs
Many people know of singing sensation Olly Murs’ link to the area. 

The Witham-born star was picked out by many of our readers. 

One said: “Olly Murs, on his way home from his concert at the stadium in Colchester, stopped and chatted to us, lovely guy.”

Damon Albarn

Gazette: Damon AlbarnDamon Albarn

The Blur and Gorillaz star is well-known for his links to Colchester. 

Stanway School was where he met Graham Coxon, who later with Damon would form the songwriting backbone of Blur.

One reader said he met the star in Colchester’s Hole In The Wall pub.