A HISTORIAN is behind a second book full of famous people who were either born or lived in Basildon.

Ken Porter’s first book, Basildon’s Famous People, proved to be a huge hit and has led to a follow-up release.

The book will include famous names in the entertainment industry – such as David Gandy, Richard Osman and Kara Tointon – along with footballers Daniel Bentley and Casey Stoney.

Chapters will also focus on other sportspeople and political figures, including Sir David Amess and Mark Francois, as well as those boasting military backgrounds or people have shone in the media industry.


On the big screen - Kara Tointon

A total of 50 well-known names were included in the first publication and Mr Porter, chairman of the Basildon Borough Heritage Group, is hoping to release volume two – containing 50 more famous characters – before the end of the year.

He said: “I have always been interested in local history and, as you do research, more and more of these names come to the fore.


England star - Casey Stoney has won more than 100 caps

“Doing the research and finding people who have gone on to be famous having been born, brought up or lived in the borough gives me a really good kick.

“I thought it would be ideal to put a book together of people who have become nationally or even internationally famous.

“When you speak to people, they always come up with Alison Moyet or Depeche Mode for famous people who have come from here, but there are so many more.


Model - David Gandy

“The first book was made up of 50 people but, having done more research, I am hoping to have a second book containing another 50 people out by the end of the year.”

Mr Porter, who was born in Laindon and attended Laindon High Road School, has loved piecing together Basildon’s Famous People Volume Two, taking the opportuniy to meet several of those included.

The 76-year-old added: “I have been able to meet a few of the people personally when putting this second book together.


Goalkeeper - Daniel Bentley won promotion with Southend United in 2015

“That has given me even more enjoyment and there’s an added connection when you meet them and discuss their links to the borough.

“I build an emotional connection with them and meeting them in person – before lockdown, of course – means I find out certain things about them I wouldn’t have done in any other way.”