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Home   Sittingbourne   News   Article

Pictured: Kent politicians who have the look of celebrities including Nigel Havers, Bill Murray and Buster Merryfield

14 May 2014
by Andy Gray

For the next 12 months, our prospective MPs and ward councillors will be knocking on our doors to tell us why we should vote for them.

And if the rosette-wearing man or woman ringing your bell looks familiar, it might be because they bear a striking resemblance to someone far more famous.

Research has unearthed a startling number of celebrity lookalikes among our local authority members, including those in Swale Borough Council.

Here are some examples of the "famous" faces stalking the corridors of power.

Pope Francis and Eastchurch councillor Mike Brown

Pope Francis and Eastchurch councillor Mike Brown

Former borough councillor Mike Brown is a hard-working Eastchurch parish councillor and charity chairman, but anyone who crosses him in the street might be forgiven for thinking Pope Francis has handed in his cassock and cap and swapped St Peter's Cathedral for Sheppey, for Mike is a dead ringer for the Pontiff.

Mike, 71, said his striking similarity to the Chosen One hasn't gone unnoticed.

"When the Pope was installed I thought, 'that looks like me', and members of my family pointed it out, too.

"I've never been stopped in the street before, but at meetings I've had a few jokes, people bowing and that sort of thing."

Reading boss Nigel Adkins and councillor Mike Whiting

Reading boss Nigel Adkins and councillor Mike Whiting

Cllr Mike Whiting, 55, Conservative representative for Kemsley ward, and Nigel Adkins, 49, manager of Reading FC.

Cllr Whiting said: "Recently, I had someone come up to me in Sittingbourne and ask are you Nigel Adkins? I'd never heard of him so I Googled him and up came a picture of this chap who looked like me.

"It's not a bad comparison and I'm quite flattered - he's not a bad looking bloke.

"The other person I get mistaken for is Andrew Morton (author of controversial book on Diana, Princess of Wales).

"I was in Millbank, Westminster, the other day and an American tourist asked if I was him. I said 'no, but you can my autograph if you want'."

Actor James Cromwell and councillor Ghlin Whelan

Actor James Cromwell and councillor Ghlin Whelan

Ghlin Whelan, 68, Labour representative for Chalkwell and James Cromwell, 74, US TV and film actor.

Cllr Whelan said: "A couple of friends of mine said, 'Corr, Ghlin, you look like Dr Harold Shipman, the bloke who murdered all those women'.

"When I looked at his picture I thought, 'good Lord, I really am the spitting image'.

"I've never heard of James Cromwell, and when I saw his picture, I didn't realise I looked that old.

"I actually have a twin brother and twin sisters - we're not identical, and you wouldn't know we were related if you saw us together."

Actor Nigel Havers and councillor Guy Nicholson

Actor Nigel Havers and councillor Guy Nicholson

Guy Nicholson, 53, Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, and Nigel Havers, 62, stage and screen actor in shows such as The Charmer, and more recently, Coronation Street.

Mr Nicholson said: "There have been occasions when people have said I look like Nigel Havers.

"I've never had the privilege of meeting him, but I hope to one day. It's a real privilege to be compared to one of our best actors.

"I've never tried to emulate anyone's look, I just try to make sure I'm always well turned-out and looking like Sittingbourne and Sheppey's next MP."

Actor Bill Murray and Cllr Roger Truelove

Actor Bill Murray and Cllr Roger Truelove

Roger Truelove, 69, county councillor for Swale Central, and Bill Murray, 63, US actor famous for film roles including Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day.

Cllr Truelove said: "I often feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day – every time they introduce a new regeneration plan for Sittingbourne."

Actor Buster Merryfield and Grove councillor Duncan Dewar-Whalley

Actor Buster Merryfield and Grove councillor Duncan Dewar-Whalley

Duncan Dewar-Whalley, 76, Swale Conservative representative for Grove ward, and Buster Merryfield, the late actor best known for playing Uncle Albert in Only Fools and Horses.

Cllr Dewar-Whalley said: "When I did fire training for office staff, I used to introduce myself as Uncle Albert, and say 'or if you prefer, Captain Birdseye, which should give you great confidence for the exercises you're about to undertake'.

"By taking the mickey out of myself, I found people listened and learned more. I also get called Father Christmas."

Do you know someone - they don't have to be a councillor - who looks like a celebrity? Email us your pictures to

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