COULD you have sat next to someone at school who went on to become a celebrity? 

From sporting stars to authors our county has raised and educated some of Britain's most famous faces.

Here are some of the famous people to have been educated at schools in Gwent:

Keith Baxter

South Wales Argus:

[Paul Rogers (L) and Keith Baxter (R) in Sleuth - Wikimedia Commons] 

Film, stage and television actor Keith Baxter was born in Newport in 1933 and attended Newport High School in the 40s.


He later studied at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts where he then made his film debut in the 1957 remake of The Barretts of Wimpole Street.

Some of his best-known roles include playing Preston in Golden Rendezvous in 1977 and Prince Hal in Orson Welles film Chimes at Midnight in 1965. 

Dawn Foster

Dawn Foster is a journalist, broadcaster and author who has written for the London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement and The Independent. She is currently a staff writer for Jacobin magazine.

Born and raised in Newport she grew up in poverty in an unemployed single-parent family, and was placed in the care system as a teenager - an experience she wrote about in articles for the Child Poverty Action Group in The Guardian

She attended St Joseph's Roman Catholic School in the noughties and Gwent Tae Kwon-Do in the 90s. 

Darragh Mortell

Darragh Mortell is a writer and director for TV, radio and film. As a child he has acting roles in Dani's House, Diddy TV and The Story of Tracy Beaker

Born in Newport, the star attended Caerleon Comprehensive in the noughties.

In 2020, Mr Mortell won 'Best European Fiction' at the Prix Europa Awards for his BBC Radio Wales/BBC Radio 4 afternoon play I am Kanye West.

Rachel Rice

Another star to have attended Caerleon Comprehensive is the 2008 Big Brother winner Rachel Rice. 

Her career began after she won the 'Rosebud' title at Cwmbran carnival. She went on to take part in around 20 television commercials globally, including the Sony Handicam's 'Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden' in 1991.

She was second runner-up in Miss Wales in 2004.

Now she teaches performing arts at a Welsh comprehensive school and recently graduated with an MA in Leadership and Management. 

Liz Johnson 

South Wales Argus: PARALYMPIC ICON: Welsh swimmer Liz Johnson


Competitive swimmer Liz Johnson has won gold medals in the Paralympic Games and International Paralympic Committee world championships. 

She has cerebral palsy, placing her in the S6 classification.

Born with cerebral palsy she was encouraged to join a swimming class at the age of three by her mother, to help build strength in her muscles.

Born in Newport she attended Bassaleg School and at the age of 14 was chosen to compete for Team GB. 

She attended Swansea University in 2008 where she completed a degree in business management and finance.

David Davies

South Wales Argus: Portrait of David Davies MP Monmouth..

(Portrait of MP David Davies SWA)

David Davies is the MP for Monmouthshire and was also educated at the Bassaleg School. 

After leaving school in 1988 he worked for the British Steel Corporation and served with the Territorial Army.

The Conservative politician has served as MP for Monmouth since 2005 and served as chairman of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee for nine and a half years before becoming a Welsh Office minister in December 2019. 

Do you remember any of these famous faces at your school? Let us know in the comments.