15 famous faces you didn't realise were Scottish

With so many Scots having emigrated down the centuries, it’s little surprise to find that so many famous faces have Caledonian roots.

Alicia Silverstone

From Mark Knopfler’s Bearsden upbringing, to Kim Kardashian’s unlikely link to an ancient Pictish king, we take a look at 15 famous faces who have a Saltire in their hearts.

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Known around the world as the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of New York City-founded new wave group Talking Heads, David Byrne's Caledonian roots are surprising to say the least. The Once in a Lifetime singer was born in Dumbarton in 1952 and the family relocated and settled in North American when he was a toddler.

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Named a "giant among journalists" on his untimely death four years ago, legendary food critic, Adrian Anthony Gill, was born in Edinburgh in 1954. The future Sunday Times' restaurant reviewer and television critic moved to England when he was still an infant.
Hollywood actress star Alicia Silverstone may have been born in California, but she is the daughter of Monty Silverstone, an English estate agent, and Deirdre Silvestone (née Radford), a Scottish former Pan Am flight attendant. We were totally Clueless about this (sorry).
Top fashion photographer Rankin, born John Rankin Waddell, is known as being the founder of Dazed and Confused magazine and for snapping world-famous personalities, from Kate Moss to The Queen. Born in Paisley, but educated south of the border, Rankin's Scots heritage is today masked by a thick southern English accent.
While Joan Baez was of Spanish descent on her father's side, the American folk singer's mother, Joan Chandoes Baez (née Bridge) hailed from Edinburgh. Joan Senior,, or "Big Joan" never forgot her roots and introduced her daughters well-known Scots folk songs, such as Will Ye Go Lassie, Go.
Rock giants AC/DC may have formed in Australia, but their Scottish lineage is clear. Founding members Angus (pictured) and Malcolm Young. were born in Glasgow, while former front man Bon Scott, who died in 1980, was born in Kirriemuir.
Best known for his work on satirical panel shows and sketch comedy series Bremner, Bird and Fortune, award-winning comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner's is often viewed as English due to his dialect, but was actually born in Edinburgh in 1961.
Don't let the Hungarian ancestry and thick Geordie accent fool you, legendary Dire Straits frontman and guitar great Mark Knopfler is a Glaswegian. The young Knopfler attended Bearsden Primary School for two years before the family moved to Newcastle.
Actor and Comedian Hugh Laurie may have been born in Oxfordshire, but both his parents were of Scottish descent. Given that Hugh's full name is Jams Hugh Calum Laurie, this should be a surprise to no-one.
Based on surnames alone, many would suspect Ronni Ancona's fellow comic and impressionist, Alistair McGowan, to boast the greater Scots heritage - but not the case. Ancona was brought up in Troon, Ayrshire, and is of Italian Jewish descent.
Educated at Fettes Collge in Edinburgh, former UK prime minister Tony Blair's links to Scotland are fairly well-known. Born at Edinburgh's Queen Mary Maternity Hospital in 1953, Blair's first home was with his family at Paisley Terrace inn the Willowbrae district of the capital. The family relocated to Australia when Blair was still an infant.
Bear with us on this one, but Los Angeles socialite Kim Kardashian is so Scottish that she might actually have a claim to the throne. A study of the family tree of Kardashian's mother, Kris Jenner, reveals she is a descendant of Pictish king Kenneth MacAlpin. Kanye believe it? We'll grab our coats...
Ewan McGregor wasn't the only Scot playing a prominent role in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Behind the prosthetic horns and war paint of Sith Lord Darth Maul was a Scotsman: Glasgow-born actor and martial artists, Ray Park.
Born in Louisiana, actress Reese Witherspoon has a surprising Scottish heritage. Witherspoon has claimed descent from Scottish-born John Witherspoon, who signed the United States Declaration of Independence. Her lineage also links her to the Scottish protestant reformer John Knox.
Academey Award-winning actor the late David Niven was Scottish on his father's side, a fact he never tired of reminding people. Niven himself claimed he was born in Kirriemuir, though this is disputed by his birth certificate, which states he was born in London. Still, who are we to argue?

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