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Which British celebrities were raised by their grandparents?

8th July 2022

Image credit: Ernst Vikne

From giving you a bit of extra pocket change and slipping you some chocolate, to taking you out for the day or even on a holiday, grandparents are a cornerstone of many families.

Grandparents play an important role in the life of their grandchildren and are often central figures in the people those grandchildren grow up to be. It doesn’t matter whether a grandparent has mobility issues and needs aids like a walk in shower or some form of walking aid, they look after you so mum and dad can work or enjoy a bit of alone time and they will share valuable life lessons as well.

In many cases, grandparents bring up their grandchildren and many celebrities have been raised by grandparents in the UK. This guide looks at some of the celebrities who have lived with their grandparents at some point during their childhood.

Celebrities raised by grandparents in the UK

From famous musicians to popular TV stars, here are some of the celebrities raised by their grandparents in the UK at some point during their childhood.

  • Sir Elton John
  • Sir Mo Farah
  • Eric Clapton
  • Davina Mccall

Sir Elton John

Sir Elton John is one of the world’s most famous musicians and many of his hits like Rocket Man, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and Your Song are still popular across the globe today.

The singer, songwriter, pianist and composer, had a rocky relationship with his parents and ended up being mainly brought up by his loving grandmother, Ivy Sewell. In fact, he has credited her for teaching him the piano at the age of three.

Elton John’s maternal grandmother is also depicted in the ‘Rocketman’ film as one of the only positive figures in his young life and the one who accompanies him to his audition at the Royal Academy of Music after his parents refuse.

It was also rumoured that Sir Elton built a chapel on her property after her death so he could pay respects to her and others in his life who have died.

ALSO READ: Who are the most iconic British musicians over 65?

Sir Mo Farah

Sir Mo Farah was born in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, but as war broke out, he and his family had to travel to the north of the country and when his father moved to the UK to work, Sir Mo had to move in with his grandparents in Djibouti.

At the age of eight Mo was separated from his twin brother Hassan Farah and sent with his two younger brothers to join their father in London and it was following the move that he got into his running.

Sir Mo Farah has since gone on to represent Great Britain in the Olympics and has won four Olympic gold medals, six world championship golds, and five European championship golds to become one of GB’s greatest-ever athletes.

Eric Clapton

The iconic rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter Eric Clapton was also raised by his grandparents at their home in Surrey. His mother was 16-year-old Patricia Molly Clapton and his father was Edward Walter Fryer, a 24-year-old Canadian soldier stationed in England during World War II, but he left before Eric was born and returned to his wife in Canada.

When growing up Eric believed his mother was his sister and his grandparents were his parents as they stepped in as surrogate parents and raised him as their own. Even when it was revealed that Patricia was his mother, he stayed in the care of his grandparents.

Eric Clapton has gone on to have an incredibly successful career as a prominent member of The Yardbirds and Cream as well as a great solo career. Some of his biggest hits include the likes of Wonderful Tonight, Layla (Unplugged), and I Shot the Sheriff.

Davina McCall

From bringing tears to the nation by hosting Long Lost Family which reunites families that have been separated, to earlier in her career presenting the hugely popular reality TV show Big Brother, Davina McCall is one of the most popular TV personalities in the UK.

Davina McCall lived with her grandparents from the age of just three as her mother suffered from alcoholism and abandoned her. She did seek out her father and lived with him at the age of 13.

As reported in the Lancashire Telegraph, when her grandmother passed away, Davina McCall wrote: “She was the matriarch of our family. The glue that kept us all together. She was like a mother to me… and a rock for so many people in their times of need.”

ALSO READ: Inspirational actors you won’t believe are over 65

Other international celebrities raised by their grandparents

There are many international film stars and famous people who have been brought up by their grandparents and below is a list of some of the celebrities:

  • Pierce Brosnan – The actor who played James Bond for many years and is famed for other big roles in films such as Mamma Mia, was brought up by his grandparents after his father moved out when he was an infant and his mother moved from Ireland to London to qualify as a nurse.
  • Jack Nicholson – Although the Hollywood legend thought beautician Ethel May was his mother, she actually was his grandmother, his father John Joseph Nicholson was his grandfather, and his sister June was actually his mother. His grandparents raised him as their own as they weren’t sure who his father was.
  • Barack Obama – The former President of the United States of America lived with his grandparents from the age of 10 until he went to university.

These are just some of the British celebrities who have been raised by their grandparents as well as some famous international stars. For more blogs like this, head to our news section.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.