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Norfolk’s famous to be book subject

Norwich author and historian Michael Chandler is researching a book on famous people, past and present that were born or live in Norfolk – and he wants Evening News readers to help.

Any list of famous Norfolk people would always include Horatio Nelson, Stephen Fry, Elizabeth Fry, Edith Cavell, and Anne Boleyn, who was probably born at Blickling Hall, to name just a few.

But how many of the county’s residents know that the former Education Secretary Ed Balls, film star Rupert Everett or Queen’s Roger Taylor were born in the county?

Or that former film cinematographer and director Jack Cardiff, who worked on some of the most famous films ever made, including The African Queen and The Red Shoes, was born in Great Yarmouth?

Mr Chandler, who has lived in Norwich for around five years, and has been writing about the county for most of that time, said: “I am looking to your readers to make any suggestions that can go into the book, such as writers, politicians, religious leaders, musicians, painters, and in fact anyone who has achieved something past and present.

“Having researched different areas in which to write about, I decided on a book about famous people past and present of Norfolk, rather than just Norwich. As far as I know, a book of this undertaking has never been published.”

The 48-year-old’s first book, Murder and Crime Norwich, which looks at murders and crime from 1144-1908, was published in September and his second book The Norwich Plaque Guide comes out next year.

Murder and Crime Norwich delves into the villainous deeds that have taken place in the city and its surrounding areas. Cases of murder, robbery, assault and fraud are all examined as the darker side of the city’s past is exposed.

From cases as famous as the murder of William of Norwich, which led to the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290, to little-known crimes such as the tragic case of a man suffering from depression murdering his fiancée, this book sheds a new light on the city’s criminal history.

Mr Chandler, who lives in the city centre and works for Norwich-based independent film and TV production company, Michael Ross Film and TV, is often invited onto BBC Radio Norfolk to talk about Norwich, in particular about the city’s plaques and the influence the Normans have had on the city.

Two years ago Mr Chandler hit the headlines when he asked the Home Office to pardon Norfolk rebels Robert and William Kett, who were the leaders of Kett’s Rebellion in 1549.

Readers can send in names for Mr Chandler to research to info@michaelrossfilmandtv.co.uk.

Which Norfolk hero past or present do you think deserves to be recognised in the 21st century? Email reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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