Breaking into any creative field is tough. Music lessons, creative writing courses and acting classes might help you hone your skills, but the key and crucial ingredient for any artist or creative is inspiration. Once you’ve made it, and you’re sitting there with your Grammy or Oscar in hand, you’re likely to think back to (and thank!) the original source of inspiration – home.
That has happened for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of different notorious names. So with this in mind we have crunched the data to see which UK areas produce the highest volume of writers, actors and musicians, to crown the most inspiring destinations.
We know that counties with larger populations like Greater London or Greater Manchester, for example, would be home to the most creatives by volume. So to normalise the data, we have calculated the results per 100,000 people to make it a little fairer when crowning the champions.
Glamorgan, Wales, has been named the most inspiring county, overall, with 24 people in every 100,000 people likely to become notable in their field - Catherine Zeta-Jones, Roald Dahl and Charlotte Church are all from the south Wales county. County Antrim, Northern Ireland, ranks in second place in the inspiring destinations table with Lanarkshire and Midlothian, Scotland ranking in 3rd and 4th. Bristol is the highest English region with over 11 famous people per 100,000 born.
Thanks in part to Dahl's Glamorgan roots, the Welsh county is number one for writer hotspots with 11 per 100,000 people. Midlothian ranks as the second best county for writers with notable scribes like A. A. Gill and David Hume stemming from the Scottish county (which borders Edinburgh). Bristol and Devon also feature in the top 10 notable locations for writers with J.K. Rowling and Agatha Christie representing their localities. Lanarkshire houses 5 writers per 100,000 people - most notably Carol Ann Duffy.
Lanarkshire and Gwent feature atop the most inspiring places for actors and actresses with 7 notable actors per 100,000 people. Actors include Michael Sheen from Gwent and the likes of Billy Connolly, James McAvoy, Peter Capaldi and Sheena Easton from Lanarkshire - not a bad portfolio.
Despite Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool being the typical home to iconic musicians - Oasis, Arctic Monkey and The Beatles -our data suggests some lesser known hotspots which may inspire the next generation of musical talent. Lancashire and Herefordshire rank towards the top for this particular category with 7th and 8th ranking overall. Herefordshire boasts the likes of Ellie Goulding and Martin Chambers. Lancashire is home to Christine McVie, Robert Smith and Alfie Boe.
We all have our roots, our inspirations and our aspirations. Whether you stumble on a grammy or an Oscar, remember your humble beginnings and pay homage to home in your acceptance speech.