Who was your teenage pin-up?

Debbie Harry of Blondie.
Kate Bush
Ant and Dec

Laura McGarrity and Kerry McKittrick ask some well-known local people to delve into their memories to reveal their first celebrity crush

During those years when you are driven by your hormones having a teenage crush on a celebrity is considered a rite of passage. Take the current ‘Bieber Fever’ that has seen millions of young girls all over the world fixated with the teen singer Justin Bieber over the past couple of years.

An almost obsessive fascination with a famous person leading you to paper your walls in posters of them, signing your signature with their surname, fantasising about meeting them and them loving you as much as you love them, are all symptoms to be expected with an adolescent crush.

And no-one, it seems, is immune to such fantasies. Even Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed that he had his own special pin-ups. One was a poster of 1970s supermodel Cheryl Tiegs on. But also on his bedroom wall was that famous Athena tennis poster.

In an interview with Carol Vorderman last week, the PM admitted: “That’s very un-PC, isn’t it?”

Of course teenage crushes are just that and don’t often transfer to real life. The Prime Minister’s object of desire in his teens is very different from his English Rose wife, Samantha.

Yet most people, boys and girls, had their teenage crushes. They were innocent, despite however cringeworthy it might seem looking back now.

There are, however, those crushes which endure the test of time and still remain strong.

For a whole generation of young women pop group Take That's comeback revived a wave of adoration all over again.

Akin to your first love, some people will always have a soft spot for their first crush. We spoke to some well-known local people to find out whose poster they had on their walls all those years ago.

The stars who found their way into Northern Ireland bedrooms

Danny Kinahan (54) is the UUP MLA for South Antrim and lives in Templepatrick. He is married and has four children. He says:

“In my late teens I had a massive crush on Julie Christie. I remember watching her in Far From The Madding Crowd and Dr Zhivago and thinking she was beautiful.

“My mum wouldn't let us put posters up on our walls, so I never had Julie on my wall. To be honest I think if I was allowed posters it would have probably been George Best or Bobby Charlton. I was obsessed with Manchester United and still am.

“I went to see Julie Christie when she was in Hamlet with Kenneth Branagh in the Waterfront in 1997 and I remember thinking how different she looked. My crush had definitely passed.”

Brian Houston is a singer/songwriter. He lives in Belfast with his wife Pauline and their children Stephanie (22) and Danny (21). He says:

“I remember seeing the front cover of Debbie Harry's Denis Denis record and that was it. I was obsessed with her. I had a poster of the cover on my wall. She was wearing a leopard print dress and black leather boots. She looks a bit different now. I think Debbie and I have moved on.”

Katie Larmour (27) is a model and TV presenter. She lives in Holywood with her boyfriend Harry. She says:

“When I was still in primary school I had a poster of Ant and Dec on my wall. I loved Byker Grove, and had a big crush on both of them. I remember entering a radio competition for an Ant and Dec music video, Psyche, and I won. I still have it.

“I also had posters of Boyzone up all over my room. At that age in school everyone had a favourite and I used to get so stressed out because I couldn't pick mine. When Boyzone were on The Kelly Show I was in the audience and because I had broken my arm I got to go backstage to meet them and they all signed my cast. I was so excited to meet them. We kept the cast in the attic for years, but it then disappeared.

“A couple of weeks ago I actually got to meet Keith Duffy from Boyzone at the VIP Style Awards in Dublin where he was one of the judges. Even though I've grown up I still got so flustered when I told him how much I loved Boyzone and how they'd all signed my cast.”

Sandra Overend (39) is the UUP MLA for Mid Ulster. She lives in Bellaghy with her husband and three children. She says:

“My mum and dad never let us put posters on our walls, because it would have ruined the wallpaper, but we were allowed them on the back of our doors or wardrobes. In my early teens I loved Wham and for years I had a poster of them. I never really got why people liked George Michael. Andrew Ridgeley was by far my favourite. I'm sure I had a poster of Duran Duran as well. While I don't really like them any more for their looks, I still love Wham and Duran Duran's music.”

Brenda Shankey (40) runs Jason Shankey Male Grooming with her husband Jason and lives in Belfast with their children Lauren (10) and Will (8). She says:

“In my late teens I loved Morrissey, in the way teenagers do. I was besotted by him. Believe it or not I actually had a silk pillow of Morrissey’s face on my bed. When I was about 18 I went down to Dublin to see him perform. I thought it was the best day of my life. I still love Morrissey. Men tend to get better looking as they get older and I still think he is very fanciable.”

Stephen Clements (38) is breakfast DJ for Citybeat. He lives in Carrickfergus with his wife Natasha and daughter Poppy (1). He says:

“I had two posters on my wall when I was younger, both for very different reasons. One of of Eric Cantona. It said ‘66 was a good year for English football, Cantona was born’. The other was of Caprice. It was actually the April page of her calendar. She was wearing a denim jacket and denim shorts. I think it stayed April in my room for about two years. Cantona was my hero and probably still is. I loved Manchester United. I just fancied Caprice, but nowadays I probably couldn't pick her out of a line-up, I fancy my wife much more.”

Katrina Doran is director of beauty and fashion website Sugahfix.com. She lives in Belfast with her husband Peter Forester. She says:

“I had Bros posters all over my room when I was about 11 or 12, I loved them. My favourite was Matt Goss and I was convinced all I had to do was meet him and we would get married. At that age all you think about is how your life would change if you met them. The first concert I ever went to was to see Bros in the Ulster Hall in Belfast. I was only about 12 and went with my cousin. I still have a wee notion on Matt.”

Stephen Agnew (32) is leader of The Green Party and lives in Bangor with his wife and two children. He says:

“Growing up I've never really liked the overly-polished, scantily-clad look of famous women and much preferred the girl next door or girls in my class, so I never had posters up. I did however love Kylie Minogue when I was about eight years old. I used to watch Neighbours and that's when my crush began. But when she started singing I quickly went off her.”

Conor Grimes (44) is married to Joanne and has three children, Ronan (9), Lorcan (7) and Noah (5). He lives in Co Tyrone. He says:

“A major crush I've had from when I was in my teens is Madonna. I still love her. When I'm at a party, her song Borderline will be the first song I put on. Despite my crush, the way she looks isn't my usual type, but her music had a lot to do with why I like her. Growing up in the country and being obsessed with Gaelic football, I had posters of Tyrone player Frank McGuigan on my walls.”

Paul Maskey (44) is the Sinn Fein MP for West Belfast. He lives in Belfast with his wife Patricia and their children Liam (25) and Aoife (16). He says:

“I had Debbie Harry on my bedroom wall as a teenager. The rest of the posters were of political figures, but she was definitely my teen crush.”

Mark H Durkan (34) is an SDLP MLA for Foyle. He lives in Londonderry with his son Luke and fiancée Anne Carlin. He says:

“Not that I wasn't into girls when I was younger, but I was just more obsessed with my football team Everton, so I had posters of them all over my room. At that age I think I was a bit shy about girls, even to have posters up. I think it's safe to mention one crush I had growing up, because she could definitely look after herself if my fiancée came after her. Every week I used to look forward to watching Gladiators and one of the fighters, Jess, was my main reason for tuning in.”

Jeffrey Donaldson (49) is the DUP MP for Lagan Valley where he lives with his wife Eleanor and his daughters Claire and Laura. He says:

“All the posters on my wall would all have been of Chelsea Football Club. I was a huge fan of the likes of David Webb and Peter Bonetti.

“She never did make it onto my wall, but I always had a crush on Felicity Kendall when she played Barbara Good in The Good Life. I loved the character she played in the comedy but I also thought she was gorgeous.”

Stuart Bailie (50) is a founder member of the Oh Yeah music centre in Belfast. He says:

“When I was a teenager my walls were a sort of punk-rock shrine. I had loads of pictures of bands like The Clash that I'd cut out of NME.

“I was a bit transfixed by Debbie Harry though — I remember seeing Blondie performing Denis Denis on Top Of The Pops. A few pictures of Debbie appeared on my wall after that. I even considered buying Smash Hits to see her picture even though I was a die-hard NME fan.

“I never had the Athena tennis poster on my wall — I think my mother would have given me a clip round the ear.”

Joe Lindsay (40) is a broadcaster. He lives in Belfast with his wife Mary. He says:

“My walls always featured Morrissey and The Smiths and then I moved on to the Beastie Boys.

“My teen crush, though, was Kate Bush. It might sound a bit odd but when you consider the Babushka video where she's wearing a metal bikini and wielding a sword, that says it all as far as I’m concerned!

“The most enduring crush I have ever had still stands to this day — that's Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. I think many men my age feel the same way!”

celebs who had star crushes

  • The Duchess of Cambridge corrected rumours she had Prince William’s picture on her wall at boarding school, saying: “He wishes. No, I had the Levis (jeans) guy on my wall.”
  • Model and actress Freida Pinto admitted to having a big crush on Leonardo DiCaprio when she was a teenager.
  • American comedienne Chelsea Handler had a crush on Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran when she was a teen.
  • Robert Pattinson, who is millions of young girls’ crush, says he had posters of Kate Moss and, rather surprisingly, Jane Fonda, up on his bedroom wall when he was a teenager.
  • Disney’s High School Musical golden boy Zac Efron has had a crush on Michelle Pfeiffer since he was in his teens. He was finally able to live out his fantasy when he starred opposite the actress in the film New Year’s Eve.

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