Hull’s Cool List 2021: From a TV superstar to the city’s kindest lady

A killer football team, swanky waterfront, trendy hotspots, and a lot of cultural pride – Hull is a pretty cool place to be.

The city is awash with stunning and historic buildings, has beautiful parks and the views to match but it is the people of Hull who really make it stand out from the crowd.

There are some seriously cool people who call Hull home and have helped to put us on the map nationally and even across the world.

From social media stars and sporting heroes to TV personalities and cultural icons, we have the faces to match the places.

And, as a Hull Live tradition, we have celebrated some of the coolest people in the city and their achievements.

Some of these faces you will probably recognise, but there may be others you are not familiar with and, as always, this list IS subjective.

Here is the 2021 Cool List …

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Anna Maxwell Martin (new entry)



Anna Maxwell Martin is quite different to her stern character, Patricia Carmichael
Anna Maxwell Martin is quite different to her stern character, Patricia Carmichael

Who can forget Anna’s performance in Line of Duty?

Her character appeared in series five of the acclaimed drama when she was brought in as an independent investigator amid doubts over the integrity of Adrian Dunbar’s Ted Hastings.

The actress was born and grew up in Beverley.

Anna attended Beverley High School before being accepted into drama school, where she was often the star of school plays.

By the age of 11 she thought she might have a career singing in working men’s clubs.

The same year, a friend took her to after-school drama classes.

She told the Daily Mail: “And that was it, I was going to be an actress. I found my future.”

Being in one of the biggest TV series of all time is pretty cool.

Kyle Edmund



Kyle Edmund of Great Britain leaves the court following defeat in his first round match against Tomas Berdych
Kyle Edmund, GB team

Kyle Edmund was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but calls Tickton home.

He was the British number one until late last year, having filled the void left in British men’s tennis when Andy Murray suffered a career-threatening injury.

Incredibly, he reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 2018 but has had injury problems of his own over the last 12 months.

Bond villain’ Jim Ratcliffe (new entry)



Jim says he has achieved everything he set out to do
Jim says he has achieved everything he set out to do

Most will have heard of Jim’s success in topping the Sunday Times Rich List as one of the wealthiest people in Britain.

The “reclusive” billionaire rose from hardship in Hull and is officially the richest man in Yorkshire.

The businessman now holds £6.33bn fortune after founding chemical firm Ineos.

The 68-year-old has been nicknamed “JR” after the scheming oil tycoon in Dallas, and even “Dr No” after the James Bond villain.



The billionaire's superyacht named Hampshire II is worth £150m
The billionaire’s superyacht named Hampshire II is worth £150m

He attended Beverley Grammar School before following his love of science and going on to study chemical engineering at University of Birmingham, before propelling into his multi-billion pound business.

Ratcliffe then landed a job with Esso, who funded his MBA at London Business School, after which he worked with a chemicals manufacturer until his 30s.

And if being the richest man in Yorkshire wasn’t cool enough, he even has his own superyacht worth £150m – casual.

The Bee Lady



Hull's famous Bee Lady Jean Bishop
Hull’s famous Bee Lady Jean Bishop

Jean Bishop should be the definition of the word ‘legend’.

She is known across the city for bobbing around in her little bee outfit, including in Princes Quay, to raise money for Age UK and has raised well over £124,000 for the charity.

During her association with Age UK Hull, Jean has continued to help raise awareness of the charity as well as support its numerous initiatives for local people and their families to ‘love later life‘.

The local legend loves what she does and has even been granted a British Empire Medal, as well as the Freedom of Hull.

This year Jean hit a milestone birthday of 99 and many send her well wishes in her last year of her 90s.

Jean had tackled illness at the end of 2019, but the buoyant bee quickly bounced back and attended her beloved Knit and Natter group up until the major lockdown last March.

Mark Page



Mark Page

He’s the man behind Humber Street Sesh and ever since his brainwave in 2001 the Sesh has continued to grow.

Every year thousands descend on the Fruit Market area of the city for two days of fun, partying and quality music and it’s an event which has really helped to cement Hull’s place on the musical map.

Michelle Dewberry



Michelle Dewberry, winner of The Apprentice series 2
Michelle Dewberry, winner of The Apprentice series 2

In 2006, Michelle was the crowned the winner of the second series of The Apprentice, and since then she has gone on to star in Sky’s The Pledge.

She ran for the Brexit Party at the 2019 general election but has since stepped away from politics.

The businesswoman is now set to anchor new prime time news show GB News which is set to air on June 13.



Michelle Dewberry and her son

She will appear five nights a week on GB News which will be the biggest news TV channel to launch in the UK since Sky News 30 years ago.

What’s more she became a mum last year to her son with partner Simon Jordan.

A businesswoman, TV presenter, and mum – she is really doing it all.

Peter Levy



Peter Levy

The legendary BBC Look North presenter has been gracing our screens for years and even spent a day showing us around his swanky Victoria Dock pad in 2019.

He is a familiar face to so many and can regularly be seen posing for selfies and chatting to fans in the street.

Daniel Smales (new entry)




30-year-old Daniel Smales, who grew up on Orchard Park Estate, was told he would never make it in the film industry but recently starred in an Amazon Prime film.

He played Kevin in 2020 horror film No Reasons about a couple anxiously awaiting the return of their long missing daughter which has five-star reviews and went on to expand into the US.

Daniel went to Hull College for a year where he worked with West End star Kirsty Christiansen who has worked on Cats, and Starlight Express, and he gained a scholarship at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance after having to reject Royal Academy of Music due to huge expenses.

The actor said: “The first time I walked on to a professional film set my heart was in my mouth, I was so nervous but absolutely loved it.”

The Paddingtons



The Paddingtons are one of Hull's most iconic bands
The Paddingtons are one of Hull’s most iconic bands

This indie rock band have created quite the legacy for themselves.

They’ve supported The Libertines led by the notorious Pete Doherty and their singles Panic Attack and 50 to a Pound have charted in the UK Top 40.

Jemma McKenzie Brown (new entry)



You might recognise Jemma from one of the most popular singing films of all time – High School Musical.

The Hull born star now travels the globe, hanging out with like of Zac Efron and the Beckhams.

The actress who grew up in Beverley played Tiara Gold in HSM – a snotty British girl aiming to take the place of ‘fabulous’ lead character Sharpay.

Jemma wanted to step away from her well-known movie character and find her own sound.

This year she returned to her Hull roots to debut her first single as lead singer of band About Bunny.

She is now looking forward to gigging around the city with their songs.

Eleanor Tomlinson



Eleanor Tomlinson is starring in a new Sky series
Eleanor Tomlinson

She is known to many as Demelza in Poldark but actress Eleanor Tomlinson’s roots can be traced back to Beverley – she still makes the occasional appearance at the town’s racecourse.

Eleanor attended Beverley High School before going on to achieve fame opposite Aidan Turner in the hit BBC One series.

She has since appeared in the BBC adaptation of HG Wells’ the War of the Worlds.

Jenny and Lee

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Jenny and Lee will be back
Jenny and Lee are Hull’s most favoured TV stars

Of course we had to including these two.

Gogglebox legends Jenny and Lee live in East Yorkshire but have gone on to become huge TV stars.

Every week, millions of people end up in hysterics watching them wind each other up on the Channel Four show.

They have recently finished filming series 17 of the show but are expected to come back.

Robert Aramayo (new entry)



Former Wyke Sixth Form student makes it big in the acting industry
Former Wyke Sixth Form student Robert Aramayo has been making it big in acting

While we are are still in lockdown and binge watching TV series from one day to another, Netflix’s psychological thriller Behind Her Eyes is the show everyone is talking about with a double twist ending that is causing mass debate.

And Hull-born actor Robert Aramayo starred in the show.

He played a drug addict whose story is inescapably entwined with lead character Adele.

Former Wyke Sixth Form student Robert, who grew up on Pickering Road, west Hull, went into acting after playing the lead role of Bugsy Malone in school, and joined Hull Truck Theatre.

He later won a place at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York which landed him a role on hit show Game of Thrones.

What’s more he has also starred in fantasy series, the Lord of the Rings on Amazon.

Tommy Coyle



Tommy Coyle

He’s a boxing war machine who comes from a family of fruit and veg sellers – what is not to love.

Tommy decided to call time on his 30-fight professional career to focus on his young family but he can still be seen popping up to support his many charitable causes.

He retired after a blockbuster fight at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2019.

Zanna va Dijk



Zanna splits her time between her parents’ home in Brough and London

Zanna has more than 250,000 followers on Instagram and splits her time between working as an influencer in London and relaxing on her parents’ smallholding near Brough.

The fitness and food blogger has visited an incredible 52 countries and regularly shares her trips online.