Celebrities spotted at Cheltenham Festival
More than 55,000 people are set to flock to Cheltenham Racecourse today for the first day of the 2013 festival.
Be it for a ‘flutter’ at the races or to check out the latest fashions, spectators are to descend upon Prestbury Park over the coming four days.
But for many, Cheltenham Festival offers a rare chance to mingle with the stars. Each year the event attracts household names, from TV personalities to members of the royal family.
Here we look back at some of the famous faces spotted at Cheltenham Festival:
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The Queen’s granddaughter regularly attends the festival with rugby star husband Mike Tindall, dressed head-to-toe in the latest fashions.
Until recently the couple lived in Cheltenham, but sold their £1.2 million marital home in January.
Gloucester Rugby player Mike unexpectedly won an auction for the horse, which he owns with current and former teammates James Simpson-Daniel and Nicky Robinson, after jokingly making a bid.
But the impulse buy could turn out to be a money-spinner as Monbeg Dude is almost certain to line-up in the showpiece race and is 66-1 to win, following three recent big successes including the Welsh Grand National in January.
Ant and Dec
The lovable TV presenters were spotted enjoying the opening day of the festival last year.
And in 2011 the duo purchased a racehorse of their own; James Fanshawe-trained five-year-old Primaeval.
English rose Liz Hurley was head of the fashion pack when she attended the festival in 2009. Dressed in knee-high boots and a lilac fur-trimmed coat, the Austin Powers actress headed to the racecourse with friend and style guru Trinny Woodall.
Former Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan is the latest celebrity to be associated with the festival, after creating a special work-out video for bookies Ladbrokes ahead of race week.
The I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here contestant said: “Cheltenham is a four day frenzy of racing, and our jockeys need to make sure they're up for it!”
The TV presenter is a huge fan of the festival. Writing in yesterday’s edition of The Sun newspaper, he described the four day racing extravaganza as "the greatest show on Earth".
All eyes were on the Loose Women presenter last year when she attended the festival wearing a figure-hugging white dress.
The brainy beauty showed off her curves as she placed a bet, and was snapped enjoying the day with her friend, lingerie guru Michelle Mone.
The Duchess of Cornwall
The Duchess headed to last year’s Ladies Day dressed in a spotty Anna Valentine dress, chocolate brown fur-trimmed hat and teal bouclé coat.
She was photographed recoiling in horror as she and Zara Phillips watched from the royal box as Richard Johnson tumbled to the ground during his race.
The jockey ex-boyfriend of Zara was lifted into an ambulance on a stretcher after crashing into a barrier.
The Queens Park Rangers boss, a long-standing owner of racehorses, was spotted at the festival in 2011. But he later said the race meeting had become "a day out for the nutters".
He said: "I don't go to Cheltenham. Too busy. It does my head in. People drunk and disorderly and jumping all over you. It's not racing any more."
Other sports personalities spotted at the festival in recent years include footballers Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott, and snooker pundit John Parrott.
Last year’s festival was a cause for celebration for Northern Ireland actor James Nesbitt, as his horse won the Ryanair Chase.
The Cold Feet actor was snapped celebrating with the trophy after Riverside Theatre won by half a length from Tony McCoy's mount, Albertas Run.
The Smile singer made her first official public appearance since the loss of her baby at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival with fiancé, now husband, Sam Cooper.
The star later revealed on Twitter one of her steeds had won.
And the following year she splashed out on a pair of race horses of her own, and named them Polish Rider and Ombrellino.
The TV and radio presenter was among the crowd at the opening day of the 2012 festival. Dressed in a black suit, the X Factor presenter was all smiles as he was photographed carrying his racing paraphernalia.
Funnyman Ronnie Corbett was also one of the famous faces at day one of the festival last year.