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The Advertiser at 150: Which famous faces have we covered?

Take a trip down memory lane as we explore the famous faces that have featured in the Advertiser since 1869.

Famous faces have frequented Maidenhead and the surrounding area a lot since 1869 - and we have always been there to report on them.

As part of our 150th celebrations, reporter Kieran Bell takes a trip down memory lane to explore who we have featured in our editions.

From royal figures, to superstar sporting stars – our photographers and journalists have been there every step of the way as the celebrities flock to our neck of the woods.


1990: Sir Michael Parkinson’s annual charity cricket match at Maidenhead and Bray cricket club has always featured heavily in the Advertiser – with some big names descending on the town.

Despite the most recent contest in 2018 being rained off, the 1990 showcase saw a mysterious looking George Best arrive in all black.

Best, famous for once saying ‘it was the worst 20 minutes of my life’ when he had to give up women and alcohol, showed off his other sporting abilities on a day packed full of famous faces.

Other stars including Jimmy Tarbuck and Butch White were also there on the day 28 years ago as the Michael Parkinson Celebrity XI took on Henry Kelly’s Showbiz XI.

Former British number one tennis player Annabel Croft was also there (front).


1962: The headline: ‘The Queen comes to tea’ emblazoned the front page of the June 29 edition.

Her Majesty was paying a visit to Maidenhead to officially open the new Town Hall in St Ives Road, and bring an end to her tour of East Berkshire.

As reported by our journalist 57 years ago, this was the first visit of a reigning monarch to the Maidenhead borough.

‘Everyone had an excellent view’ of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh as they arrived, with Her Majesty making a speech, in which she had high praise for Maidenhead’s reconstruction.

“I am convinced that many people, whose stay in Maidenhead has hitherto been a good deal longer than they wanted because of the traffic, will in the future be glad to come to a stop in a town which will be a charming amalgam of ancient and modern buildings and facilities,” said the Queen.


1979: On almost exactly the same day as the Advertiser’s birthday, the July 27, 1979 edition got music fans pumping as one of the greatest rock bands – Led Zeppelin – rehearsed at Bray Studios.

The famous foursome were there to experiment with new lighting ideas for the sixth open-air Knebworth concert.

Robert Plant (pictured) described Bray Studios as ‘a nice big room where we can fit all our equipment in’, with Advertiser journalist Jim Taylor calling him a ‘quietly spoken, friendly guy’.


1998: Terry Wogan has been another prominent figure in the Advertiser over the years – even paying a visit to our offices to greet former editor Don Seal.

The late Irish comedian died in Taplow in early 2016, and was a patron for the charity Thames Valley Adventure Playground (TVAP), which is based in the South Bucks village.

In 1998, we reported how Mr Wogan officially opened a major improvement project at the Bath Road venue, which included a soft-play area and conservatory, thanks to a £98,837 grant from The National Lottery Charities Board.

“I have been associated with TVAP for a very long time and I am always amazed whenever I come here,” the former Children In Need presenter told us.


1978: As well as celebrities, the Advertiser has also reported on the various royal figures who have visited our neck of the woods.

Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre was given the royal stamp of approval when its £3million extension was officially opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1978.

Prince Philip cheerfully unveiled a plaque at the new complex, which provided advanced training facilities for sports.


1988: There was no missing Ernie Wise when the TV personality drove his yellow Rolls-Royce to Dorney Court.

He was there to collect a free supply of car litter bags as part of a Keep Berkshire Tidy effort, aimed at encouraging people to take their litter home rather than dumping it on the roadside.

The campaign – which distributed car litter bags throughout the county – was well supported by the former half of the Morecambe and Wise duo.

Below, he is crowning Sarah Louise King, nine, as May Queen.


1973: Actress Wendy Craig was the star turn at the Furze Platt scouts donkey derby at Laggan Field.

The day’s activities included Morris dancing and the hiring out of a pony on which former Butterflies actress Wendy Craig, now 85, arrived on.

More recent coverage of Wendy – who has been a great supporter of the paper – included her stepping down as president of Elizabeth House in 2014.

Former trustee Mike Copland said she would be a ‘tough act to follow’ after more than 25 years in the role.


1991: As reported in the July 12, 1991 edition of the Advertiser, lucky students from Courthouse School were paid a visit by an Olympic champion.

Former British sprint and hurdling athlete Kriss Akabusi put pupils through their paces 27 years ago through a sponsored training event.

The fresh-faced 33-year-old was helping to raise funds for the school and assist budding athletes.

Then-headteacher Mr Bob Montgomery told us: “It was a super day. The children were absolutely enthralled by him.”

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