You’re twisting my melon: MM’s best celebs turned politicians as Bez reveals bid to become Salford MP

Happy Mondays star Bez has announced plans to run as Salford MP in next year’s general election.

The Mancunian celebrity has voiced his displeasure at plans to ‘frack’ in the area, while promising to end all wars, redistribute the nation’s wealth as well as a cure cancer, should he be elected.

The 49-year-old now looks set to run as an independent candidate in a bid to replace current MP Hazel Blears, who has announced her intention to step down next year.

Bez is by no means the first to turn to politics after a career elsewhere – other famous stars have also attempted to take on some of the world leaders with varying degrees of success.

Following the news, MM looks at some of Bez’s predecessors who have also turned their hands to politics.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Austrian-born actor established himself as a world famous figure with roles in films such as The Terminator and Kindergarten Cop.

But, after an illustrious career on the big screen and a move to the States, ‘Arnie’ registered as a Republican and looked to break into US politics.

In typically dramatic fashion, Schwarzenegger announced his intentions to run in the recall election for Governor of California in the summer of 2003, on an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Gray Davis was removed as Governor and Schwarzenegger was consequently appointed as his successor with 48.6% of the votes.

After serving the remainder of Davis’ initial term, the former ‘Mr Universe’ was re-elected in November 2008 and remained in office as California’s 38th Governor until 2011.

Vitali Klitschko

The former WBC and WBO world heavyweight champion beat 45 of his 47 professional opponents during an illustrious career in the boxing ring.

But, the colossal Ukrainian has proved he has just as much brains as brawn and remains to be the only professional world champion to fight with a PhD degree.

Vitali, elder brother of fellow boxer Wladimir, balanced a life of politics with boxing for the last five years of his professional days.

He is now the leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party, who were pivotal in the recent Euromaidan protests, and intends to run for Ukrainian presidency in the next election.

Another world champion, Manny Pacquiao, has also balanced a ring career with politics and is currently a member of the House of Representatives in his native Philippines.

Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jeanelle Jean, or ‘Wyclef’ for short, earned his reputation as three-time Grammy award-winning rapper, singer-songwriter and producer.

The 44-year-old also applied to become a candidate in the 2010 Haitian presidential election, however, a controversial decision ruled the world star ineligible to stand as he did not meet the requirement of being a Haiti resident for five years.

Wyclef continued in his quest to help Haitians after the devastating earthquake in 2010, but his charitable organisation Yele Haiti ceased to exist two years ago.

He also made a song in an attempt to boost his popularity among Haitians.

Dave Rowntree

Best known as the drummer in Blur, Essex-born Dave Rowntree’s political career is a case of ‘try, try and try again’.

A member of Labour since 2002, he has been a candidate for seats in 2007 (Marylebone High Street), 2008 (Church Street) and 2010 (Cities of London and Westminster) – losing on each occasion.

His lack of electoral success has at least allowed him time to train as a solicitor and host a radio show on XFM.

Sir Menzies Campbell

Once ‘the fastest white man on the planet’, competing at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and holding the British 100m record from 1967 to 1974, Sir Menzies (or ‘Ming’) Campbell became Liberal MP for North East Fife in 1987.

His profile as a Liberal Democrat figurehead grew from that point, becoming Deputy Leader of the party in 2003 and Leader in March 2006.

He did not last long in the post, however, standing down in October 2007 after being dogged by questions about his age (he was 64 when elected Leader) and was succeeded by Nick Clegg.

He intends to retire as an MP at next year’s General Election.

Glenda Jackson

A double Academy Award winner – for Women in Love (1969) and A Touch of Class (1973) – Glenda Jackson, from Birkenhead, moved from acting to politics and become an MP in 1992.

She became the first Labour candidate to win the Hampstead and Highgate seat since 1966, and initially worked in transport.

She attempted to run for Mayor of London in 2000, but failed to gain the Labour nomination, beaten by Frank Dobson, who in turn lost to Ken Livingstone.

A vocal critic of Margaret Thatcher, Jackson clung onto her (renamed) Hampstead and Kilburn seat by 0.08% in 2010, later announcing her intention to step down in 2015. 

Ronald Reagan

President of the United States between 1981 and 1989, Ronald Reagan made his name in Hollywood before entering the White House.

He appeared in 53 films – including Dark Victory (1939) and Kings Row (1942) – before becoming a TV host and then Governor of California in 1966.

Supporting conservative values, Reagan was swept into the Presidency by voters troubled by economic strife and national self-doubt.

Despite increasing defence spending, Reagan oversaw a thaw in relations with the Soviet Union and a return to prosperity for the US.

Image courtesy of Neil T with thanks

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