Unknown in Britain – these are the secret celebrities who made their mark abroad

These celebrities rose to fame around the world, but not in their home country of the UK (Image: BABEL)

The “secret celebrities” who rose to prominence after leaving the UK spoke of their sudden fame in distant lands.

From candidacy to singing, the famous faces on the streets of Britain went completely unnoticed.

However, he has an even greater number of fans in China, Pakistan and France.

Sports presenter Darren Tollett is originally from West Sussex, but after moving to France, without speaking a word of French, he found his message.

He first toured the country in 1998 to cover the World Cup and never looked back, and now heads the national TV show Champions Arena – the French equivalent of today’s sport.

Darren, 55, admitted that he never went to France to become famous on television, and still “it feels a little strange when people recognize me on the streets”.


Darren Tollett became known as an English sports journalist (Image: Babel)

“I’ll notice someone gives me a funny look, and then they’ll come and ask for a photo of me,” he said.

I didn’t move to Paris in search of a career in TV, but I think what helped me was that instead of holding back because I was English, I turned to it, even though my French is a lot these days. its better. He told the PA.

He is now married and has two daughters who speak French and English.

Tania Wells leads a completely unknown life when she visits her family in Wandsworth, south-west London, a far cry from the fame she gained in Pakistan for her singing.

The 33-year-old is best known for her soul music, which she performs with her husband, 36-year-old Paulo Vinicius, in the band Seven Eyes.

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The couple, formed in 2015, have a passion for mixing cultural influences and singing in different languages.


Tanya Wells
The British met Pakistani singer Tanya Wells in the UK (Image: Babel)

Tania rose to fame after one of the group’s Urdu songs unexpectedly went viral, which made her an overnight star in the South Asian country.

“It was never intended to be famous,” she said. The song had been on the internet for two years a day before, it went viral in 2017. I don’t know how it happened, but Pakistanis are starting to see it.

“All of a sudden we had a huge fan base there.”

While traveling to Pakistan for a concert in 2017, Tania was shocked when only 1,000 people showed up to see the audio verification.


Tania and her husband Paulo gained fame in Pakistan after the song went viral.  (Rafael Mollica / PA Real Life)
Tania and her husband Paulo have a successful music career in Pakistan (Photo: Rafael Molica / PA Real Life)

She said: “It was our first taste of real glory. Strange, but the country is only about our performance. I think they appreciate the fact that we Westerners respect their heritage and their music.

“My school means that our band was inspired by Indian music, but we have developed it to include other cultures as well.”

Tanya admitted that her occasional fame confuses her relatives in London and thinks it is “really hit and miss and probably weird”.

She is sometimes recognized in London, but is stopped on the street by British Pakistanis who know her music.

Ian Inglis


Ian Inglis
Ian Inglis appeared on the Chinese version of Britain’s Got Talent (Image: BABEL)

In a remote corner of the world, 5,000 miles from his hometown of Cardiff, Welshman Ian Inglis, 43, rose to fame overnight after reaching the semifinals of the 2012 China talent competition.

He auditioned for the reality show purely as a joke, but quickly found himself attacked by enthusiastic fans while doing his weekly shop.

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Ian moved to Japan to become an English teacher in 2002, met his wife, Yu Yanling, now 36, and moved with her to his native China in 2004.

Ian said he struggled to learn the language at first, adding that he entered the talent show “for a little laugh”, but was surprised by the reaction when he sang traditional Chinese songs.

Foreign audiences dressed in Red Army uniforms enthusiastically performed the Chinese Communist Revolutionary Anthem, and voted for Ian to participate in the live performance.

His innovative performance made Ian one of the best players and he reached the semi-finals before being knocked out. But the singer’s success on national television made her life “a little crazy” after the show.

He said, “I started traveling all over the country and playing my songs and every time I traveled to a big city, I constantly got to know myself.


Ian rose to fame when he auditioned for China's Got Talent, and it became his new job as a Westerner singing traditional Chinese songs.  (Han Changming / Real Life Pa)
Ian is now a TV presenter (Photo: Han Changming / PA Real Life)

Even in the supermarket, the fans attacked me. It was a strange experience. Fortunately, life is much quieter now.

Ian is now enjoying a career thanks to a talent show that raised his profile, and he now hosts a weekly prime-time travel and tourism show that airs across China.

Taylor Hermerding, editor of the Education Book of Babylon, said all three men were able to get jobs in “difficult” conditions because they had to learn a new language.

“Making a successful career in the public eye is hard enough to protect your country, but doing it in an unfamiliar language and culture is another challenge,” she said.

You might never think of them again if you see these guys standing in a bar in London, but they’ll be overwhelmed with adorable fans in France, Pakistan or China.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

Organizer. Zombie aficionado. Wannabe reader. Passionate writer. Twitter lover. Music scholar. Web expert.

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