Russell John Dammerall Grant (born 5 February 1951) is a British astrologer and media personality. He has written several books on astrology, provides syndicated newspaper horoscopes and operates premium rate astrology phone lines. In March 2010, he began offering a "Pet Psychic" service. He is also the author of The Real Counties of Britain, and founded the Association of British Counties in 1989.
Russell John Dammerall Grant
5 February 1951
|Occupation||Media personality, author, astrologer|
|Partner(s)||Doug Beaumont (1972–)|
Grant first appeared on television talking about astrology in 1979, featured in Yorkshire Television programme Extraordinary presented by Valerie Pitts and Melvin Harris. He was the regular astrologer on Granada Television's Live from Two which ran from 1980–81. He is best known for his appearances on breakfast television joining BBC's Breakfast Time to present the Your Stars section from 1983–86. In 1986 he joined TV-am as resident astrologer appearing on Good Morning Britain and After Nine until 1990. Later from 1992–95 he was a regular expert on This Morning with Richard and Judy offering astrological advice.
Grant has also taken the role of presenter on many shows, including Star Choice, a celebrity quiz show based on the zodiac. In 1991 he co-hosted with Miriam Stoppard episodes of daily show People Today and in 1994 Grant had his own six episode series, Russell Grant's All Star Show.
Following the launch of Channel 5, Russell Grant presented Wideworld, a series in which members of the public were encouraged to make historical records for future generations. He also directed and starred in Russell Grant's Postcards from 1998–2002, which was a collection of over 100 five-minute travelogues produced by his own production company, Russell Grant's World Productions.
2003–2005: Television presenting
In 2003 Grant presented a series of eight programmes called Russell Grant's Sporting Scandals for ITV and in 2004 presented The Russell Grant Show for Sky One. On Bingo Night Live, in 2008, pre-recorded videos of Grant were shown, in which he gave opinion on the chances of winning based on his horoscope readings.
2006–2011: Reality television
In January 2006, Grant took part in the fourth series of Celebrity Fit Club, losing over 3 stone. In May 2010, he appeared on Kitchen Burnout on ITV and in January 2011 he visited Turkey as part of Channel 4's Celebrity Five Go to....
2011–12: Strictly Come Dancing and theatre
On 6 September 2011, it was announced that Grant would take part in the ninth series of Strictly Come Dancing. In the launch show, on 10 September, he was partnered with professional dancer Flavia Cacace. He was eliminated from the competition on 20 November 2011 at the show's Wembley Arena weekend.
Beginning performances on 14 February 2012, Grant took over from Michael Crawford in the titular role of The Wizard of Oz. The 2011 revival played at the London Palladium and featured new music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Grant played a limited 12-week engagement through 6 May 2012, starring alongside Sophie Evans as Dorothy.
|Week||Dance/Song||Judges' scores||Total Scores||Result|
|1||Cha-cha-cha / "Venus"||4,5,6,6||21||Safe|
|2||Salsa / "Dancing Queen"||6,6,6,7||25||Safe|
|3||Foxtrot / "Don't Rain on My Parade"||6,7,7,8||28||Safe|
|4||Tango / "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"||5,6,6,7||24||Safe|
|5||Samba / "Better the Devil You Know"||4,6,6,6||22||Safe|
|6||Paso Doble / "Carmen"||4,7,6,7||24||Safe|
|7||American Smooth / "I Am What I Am"||5,7,7,7||26||Safe|
|8||Jive / "Reach"||5,6,6,7||24||Eliminated|
2014: Celebrity MasterChef
On 24 May 2014, it was announced that Russell would be taking part in the ninth series of Celebrity MasterChef. The series began airing on 10 June 2014 with Russell taking part in the first two episodes of the series until he was eliminated on 12 June, one stage away from reaching the semi-finals.
The first challenge was the Mystery box task, where Russell made two types of Spring Rolls. The outside challenge saw Russell, along with Jodie Kidd go to Babbo, a high-end Italian restaurant in Mayfair, London. Russell had to make a dish in order to impress the head chef. The third and final challenge of the episode saw Grant cook a two-course meal for the judges. The meal had to be inspired by something or someone. Russell made his Aunt's Fish and Chips & Bread and Butter pudding.
On the second episode dated 12 June 2014, Grant needed to identify a variety of ingredients and making Brandy snaps with piped ginger cream in the knowledge and skills test. The outside challenge was to cook for 120 people at Mount Pleasant in North London. He also then cooked for three previous Celebrity MasterChef finalists. He cooked Three counties sausage toad in the hole and Honey, cinnamon and Apple crumble with custard and was eliminated from the contest.
- Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes (27 December 2003) – Contestant
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? – Contestant
- Loose Women (21 October 2011, 12 March, 19 November 2012, 11 April 2013) – Guest
- This Morning (14 November, 14 December 2011, 7 March, 21 June, 23 July, 31 August 2012, 6, 20 September, 4, 18 October 2013) – Guest
- Daybreak (23 November 2011, 22 May 2013) – Guest
- Paddy's Show and Telly (29 December 2011) – Contestant, won £10,000 for Alzheimer's Society
- Lorraine (20 January, 24 August 2012) – Guest
- The Alan Titchmarsh Show (30 January 2012, 6, 28 February, 10 September 2013) – Guest
- All Star Family Fortunes (11 February 2012) – Contestant, won £10,000 for Alzheimer's Society
- Pointless Celebrities (2 June 2012) – Contestant, alongside Carol Smillie
- Let's Do Lunch with Gino & Mel (21 August 2012) – Guest
- Britain's Secret Treasures (31 October 2013) – Reporter
- The Chase: Celebrity Special (21 December 2013) – Contestant, won £0, as he was caught by the "chaser"
- The Guess List (24 May 2014) – Guest
- Celebrity Squares (8 October 2014) – Guest
Early and personal life
Grant was raised in a council house in the 1950s, his father working as a sales rep for a car accessory business. Later his parents worked at Pinewood Studios, his mother Jo dealing with contracts, his father a set designer and he spent most of his childhood in the care of his grandparents. After losing both his grandmothers, Lily Grant and Alice, to Alzheimer's disease, Grant suffered clinical depression and once weighed 27 stone (172 kg).
Grant's original career was as an actor and performed in a variety of productions including Tom Brown's Schooldays with Keith Chegwin who shared a similar career path from acting to television. It is through this work he met his partner Doug Beaumont, who worked as a stagehand in a Blackpool theatre.
Grant helped design the badge for Brentford F.C., the team he supports though he has been a keen follower of all non-league clubs in Middlesex since the 1950s, having regularly attended games at various clubs during childhood.
Grant moved to Cardiff in 1969 then lived in Barry for 20 years as well as Usk near Abergavenny. He now lives near the village of Maentwrog, Merionethshire, and has learnt basic Welsh. Grant is gay and has been with his partner Doug Beaumont, who is also his manager, for 40 years.
- "Researcha.co.ukTerms and Conditions". Web.researcha.com. Retrieved 30 July 2010.[permanent dead link]
- Carole Cadwalladr (1 January 2006). "I've played my own role to death". The Observer. London.
- Mark Anstead (8 July 2009). "Fame & Fortune: Astrologer Russell Grant". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- "Russell Grant reveals if your Pet is Happy!". Response Source. 23 March 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- Russell Grant (1996). The Real Counties of Britain. Virgin Books. ISBN 1-85227-479-4.
- "By George! England's traditional counties can return to England's roads – Press releases". GOV.UK. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- "Filmography GRANT, Russell". British Film Institute.
- "Russell Grant and the Starlettes". 45cat.
- "Russell Grant's All Star Show". British Film Institute.
- "Russell Grant's Postcards". British Film Institute.
- "Russell Grant's Sporting Scandals". British Film Institute.
- "Bingo Night Live". UK Gameshows.
- Mark Anstead (19 May 2009). "Russell Grant: I don't want to move, but then I don't wear the trousers in this relationship". The Daily Mail. London.
- "Kitchen Burnout". UK Gameshows.
- Celebrity Five Go to... at UKGameshows.com
- Celebrity Five Go to... at Channel 4
- "Strictly Come Dancing signs up Lulu and Edwina Currie". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
- "Russell Grant". Strictly Come Dancing. BBC. 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- "Russell Grant leaves Strictly". Strictly Come Dancing. BBC. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Strictly It Takes Two Series 10 Episode 19". bbc.co.uk/iplayer. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Fletcher, Alex (30 October 2012). "Russell Grant, Widdecombe return to 'Strictly' for Children in Need". digitalspy.co.uk. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "The Saturday Show". The Saturday Show (Channel 5 TV series). 13 February 2016. Channel 5.
- "Isle of Man Actors — Russell Grant". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011.
- Grant on Football Forum discusses the 2012 FA cup first round
- Andy McSmith (2 August 2008). "Butlins booms in lean times". The Independent. London.
- "Strictly's Russell Grant backs Harlech showbiz academy". BBC News. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Astrologer Russell Grant to appear in TV soap Pobol y Cwm". BBC News. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Russell Grant: from suicidal recluse to the star of Strictly". The Daily Telegraph. London. 6 November 2011.