Born: August 22, 1971
Famous for: Setting hearts racing in BBC drama North & South
Famous for: Setting hearts racing in BBC drama North & South Leicester-born thesp Richard Armitage might have studied drama at the respected LAMDA but he resorted to joining a circus, which ended up in Budapest, to get his actor's equity card. He later returned to Hungary as an established professional to film forest scenes for the BBC's Robin Hood series, in which he plays baddie Guy of Gisborne. Stints in Casualty, Spooks and Cold Feet were followed by a role which, in addition to substantially raising his profile, also set female hearts aflutter across the UK that of the hunky mill owner in a BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North And South.