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Celeb city: Star files; Men on the telly.

* EXTRAS and The Office have brought Warwick University graduate Stephen Merchant (right) awards and recognition. He wrote and starred in the TV comedy hits with Ricky Gervais and played hapless agent Darren Lamb in Extras. The 6ft 7in tall performer began his broadcasting career in 1995 reviewing films for the university's student radio Radio Warwick.

* PAUL BRADLEY was a favourite with viewers playing Nigel in BBC1 soap EastEnders and has now won new fans as Holby City surgeon Elliot Haup. His father was a doctor in Nuneaton when Paul was born and he is one of six children. He made his acting debut playing a thief in a school production of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves.

* TIM PIGOTT SMITH was born in Rugby and grew up in Stratford. Jewel in the Crown brought him widespread attention and the classic stage and TV actor recently appeared as DCI Harry Hutchinson in BBC1's Holby Blue.

* TV actor Adam Woodyatt has played Ian Beale in EastEnders since the BBC1 soap started. He lives in Southam with his wife Beverley and their two children.

* RUGBY'S Arthur Bostrom is known around the world for his role as Officer Crabtree in comedy favourite 'Allo 'Allo. The Second World War sitcom ran for 85 episodes and was broadcast in 80 countries. The 52-year-old actor recently returned to the character for BBC2 special The Return of 'Allo 'Allo.

* WARWICKSHIRE actor Tim Dutton (left) grew up in Stratford and his father taught at Emscote Lawn and Myton High Schools in Warwick. Tim studied law before turning to acting and has romanced Calista Flockhart in Ally McBeal as British lawyer Brian Selig, worked with Coventry's Clive Owen and Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity and filmed The Detonator with Wesley Snipes. The 43-year-old also recently appeared with Liza Tarbuck in ITV's Bonkers.

* HIS father ran a butcher's shop in Rugby and his great uncle was soccer legend Sir Matt Busby. Brendan Coyle grew up in Corby and is currently appearing in BBC1 drama True Dare Kiss. The Olivier award winner has also appeared in TV's North and South, Prime Suspect - The Final Act and Rockface.

* RUGBY-BORN David Barby is one of the popular experts on BBC's Flog It and has helped people all over the country sell their hidden treasures at auction. His great-great-grandfather was a clockmaker in Coventry and his father helped fight the fire following the bombing of the cathedral in 1942.

* WARWICKSHIRE'S Daniel Brocklebank (right) left ITV soap Emmerdale last year after playing bisexual binman Ivan Jones. Daniel, who grew up in Kineton, also snogged Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie Shakespeare In Love ... when he was wearing a dress and she was dressed as a boy.

* BILL MAYNARD was Heartbeat's larger-than-life layout and petty criminal Greengrass and he also later popped up on The Royal. Bill, who lives near Hinckley, has also notched up TV hits in The Gaffer and Oh No, It's Selwyn Froggitt during his career.

* ATHERSTONE actor Leigh Lawson has enjoyed stage, TV and film success and is also married to model legend Twiggy. He recently appeared with Heath Ledger in Casanova and Alicia Silverstone in Silence Becomes You and his TV credits include Kinsey.

* COVENTRY'S Terence Hillyer has been a familiar face on many of TV's top dramas. The Canley-born actor, who went to Woodlands School, has worked on Holby City, The Bill, Heartbeat, EastEnders and Coronation Street.

* CORLEY actor John Burton used to run a mobile food store in Coventry city centre when he was "resting". He's now a familiar face on TV after playing Alan Gordon in Brookside and his many television credits include Afterlife, All in the Game and the finale of Sky One's The Dream Team.

* MIDLANDS funnyman Frank Skinner (right) studied English literature in Coventry at Warwick University before finding fame for his stand-up comedy and his chat show.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 6, 2007
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