Today is the first day of Wimbledon, THE cultural and sporting highlight of the late June/early July period. And rather than examine the sporting action in detail (we don’t know any detail, truth be told), here’s a gallery of just a few of the celebrity visitors there have been over the years.
Where better to start than with the guest appearance that upstaged the on-court action? Stuck with nothing to do on a rain-stopped centre court in 1996, Cliff Richard (now SIR Cliff), jollied the crowd up with a bit of a singalong, alongside tennis pros (look, that’s Martina Navratilova on the end there) and all the other dignitaries and tennis fans. It went down a storm, which is partly why he has refused to do it again since. Sponteneity cannot be repeated, y’see…
(All pics: AP Images)
In 1996, Hollywood’s biggest power couple arrived in the royal box, alongside one George Clooney, who was the star of some momentarily-fashionable TV show about a hospital. (Photo: AP)
Jude and Sienna made a very happy appearance during the men’s singles final in 2005. (Photo: AP)
Tennis makes for strange crowd-fellows, does it not? Thankfully, despite that sour expression, Russ did not yank that hat off Woody’s head in irritation. (Photo: AP)
A more harmonious outing, this, although you can help but wonder exactly where the ball might be. (Photo: AP)
The ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ pays a smiley visit to centre court in 2010. (Photo: AP)
Ron and Fred Weasley (or is it George) enjoy a magical afternoon watching muggle tennis. (Photo: AP)
Ignore the facial expression, he was just looking for his seat while wearing impossibly dark shades. Either that or he needed the bathroom and didn’t want to miss a key rally. (Photo: AP)
Clearly a very exciting match. Speaking of which… (Photo: AP)
WAKE UP COLIN! (Photo: AP)
Of course Kate Winslet has been to Wimbledon! Her surname contains TWO tennisy syllables (although the first one could be applied to any sporting endeavour). (Photo: AP)
I make no judgements, cast no aspersions, but SOMEONE is clearly having trouble following the rules. (Photo: AP)
And we’re back to strange row-fellows again. Here’s Ben, his wife, and Batman’s butler, out on a spree. (Photo: AP)
And here’s our grand finale: William attempting a Mexican wave, and Kate looking on, looking amused/bemused/appalled (delete according to generosity of spirit).