Famous people from Portsmouth M-P

The Portsmouth Hall of Fame displays the details of some of Portsmouth's famous residents, some of who were born in Portsmouth and others who lived and worked in the City. Portsmouth has a wealth of famous people both past and present, these include writers, politicians, sports personalities and musicians.

If you know of someone who you feel should be included on these pages, but is missing, then please send us an email to info@welcometoportsmouth.co.uk and let us know the details.


    John Madden, film director born in Portsmouth

    TV and film director John Madden, was born in Portsmouth on April 8th 1949. Madden, who started his career as artistic director of the Oxford and Cambridge Shakespeare Company.
    He directed TV series such as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Prime Suspect and episodes of TV series Inspector Morse.
    He expanded his career into film, his first hit film being Mrs Brown which starred Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Billy Conolly as John Brown, in 1997, other hits followed including Shakespeare in Love starring Gwyneth Paltrow in 1998 and more recently The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) with a stellar cast of British actors.


    Photo of author Michelle Magorian.

    Michelle Magorian was born November 6th 1947, Portsmouth, Michelle's father was in the Royal Navy, therefore due to postings she spent many of her early years living in Singapore and Australia.
    Returning to the UK she lived in Portsmouth until she was 18 years old, attending the Covent of the Cross School in Waterlooville. At 19 Michelle attended the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in London, studying drama.
    As an author she has produced both fiction and poetry mainly for young people, these include Goodnight Mister Tom (which was made into a film for TV), Back Home, Not a Swan, and A Spoonful of Jam.
    In 2007 Michelle was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Portsmouth.


    Novelist Olivia Manning.

    Born March 2nd 1911 in Portsmouth, Olivia Manning was a journalist and novelist. The daughter of a naval officer, is best known for her series of novels The Balkan Trilogy and The Levant Trilogy. Olivia attended Portsmouth Lyndon House School then Portsmouth Grammar School, she was also a talented artist and attended Portsmouth Municipal School of Art.
    Her first literary works were detective novels which were serialised in the Portsmouth News, Rose of Rubies, Here is Murder and The Black Scarab. Her first novel The Wind Changes was published in 1937.
    She is said to have constantly worried about her ability as a novelist and her literary reputation and is reported to have said that she wished she could be famous like the actor comedian Peter Sellers, also born in Portsmouth. Ironically she died on July 23rd 1980, the same day as Peter Sellers, reports of his death somewhat overshadowed her own and took up more column space in the papers.


    Professional footballer Mason Mount was born in Portsmouth 10th January 1999, he pays for Premier League team Chelsea as well as for the English national team, he attended Purbrook Park School.
    Mount attended the football academies of Portsmouth, Southampton and Chelsea, he joined Chelsea at the age of 6.
    Mount has played for Dutch club Vitesse on loan, Derby County on loan and made his break into the Chelsea first team in 2019.
    Internationally Mount has played for England at under 16,17,18 and 19 levels. he made his first appearance for the England senior team in 2019 for manager Gareth Southgate.


    Peter Orton

    Peter Orton grew up in the Tangier Road area and after leaving Portsmouth Technical High School worked as a salesman selling shoes. In 1966 he joined Television International Enterprises, a programme sales business. Peter was responsible for the international sales of Sesame Street, becoming close friends with Jim Henson. He worked with Henson and helped set up Henson International Television. When Henson sold his TV business to Disney, Orton decided to found Hit Entertainment the best known and one of the most successful children's TV production, licensing and merchandising companies in the world, introducing characters such as Postman Pat, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Bob the Builder.
    Peter Orton died December 5th 2007 after battling cancer for some time. He was honoured with a BAFTA Special Award, the lifetime achievement award, in 2002 for his significant contribution within the children's television sector.


    Allison Owen from Portsmouth

    Film producer Allison Owen was born in Portsmouth in 1961, to Peter and Mary Owen, her mother Mary worked Portsmouth Dockyard. Allison attended the Northern Grammar School for Girls.
    She started her film career at Limelight making music videos, she produced her first film Hear My Song a comedy in 1991.
    Her film credits include Moonlight and Valentino (1995), Elizabeth (1998), Sylvia (2003), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Proof (2005), The Other Boleyn Girl (2007) and Brick Lane (2007). Allison is mother to the singer Lily Allen from her previous marriage to the actor, comedian Keith Allen. She is currently married to the art director Aaron Batterham.


    Roland Orzabal was born on August 22, 1961, in Havant, his mother is English, his father, George Orzabal de la Quintana, is from Paris, France. The family moved to Bath where Roland attended Culverhay School.

    Roland along with Curt Smith formed the band Tears for Fears in 1981. The band's third single, Mad World reached number 3 in the UK chart. The band's debut album The Hurting reached number one in the UK and there second album, 1985's Songs From The Big Chair, was even more successful, spawning five UK Top 30 singles including the number 4 hit Shout and number 2 hit Everybody Wants to Rule the World.

    Orzabal has also published a novel, Sex, Drugs and Opera in 2014. Orzabal married Caroline at Bath Register Office in 1982 and they have two sons, born in 1991 and 1994.


    Olympic Athlete, Alan Pascoe, born in Portsmouth.

    Olympic athlete Alan Pascoe, was born in Portsmouth on the 11th October 1947. He attended Southern Grammar School for Boys in Portsmouth, before studying at the University of London for an Honours Degree in Education.
    He won medals for hurdling at a variety of distances, at the 1972 Olympic Games Silver 4 x 400m relay, the European Championships 1969 - 1974, and the Commonwealth Games 1974 - 1978. After athletics he forged a highly successful business career in events marketing and consulting, starting Alan Pascoe Associates Ltd and having sold that setting up Fast Track Events Ltd.


    John Pounds

    John Pounds was born in Portsmouth on 17th June 1766. Following an accident at Portsmouth Dockyard, he was crippled for life.
    Unable to work as a shipwright, John became a shoemaker, whilst working in the shop, John began teaching local children how to read and write. John Pounds is recognized as the founder of the movement known as the ragged schools.
    Read more about John Pounds life and work here.

Read more about famous people with a Portsmouth connection here, Suzi Ruffel to Percy F Westerman.