In a sporting age dominated by the egocentric and overpaid prima donna, Bradley Wiggins (pictured) has emerged as a true peoples’ champion. The first British winner in the history of the Tour de France begins cycling’s Tour of Britain today almost as a victory lap in a year that has seen him dominate the sport. Recognisable for his signature sideburns and 1960s mod styling, “Wiggo” recently released his own clothing range, a collaboration with the iconic fashion label founded by tennis player Fred Perry …

 

Lauded as one of the greatest players of all time, Perry is the last Briton to have won the Wimbledon championship, a feat he achieved three years in a row, from 1934 to 1936. Perry was sometimes known to antagonise his opponents by unsportingly declaring, “Very clevah” whenever they played an exceptionally good shot.  A heartthrob of his day, he was romantically linked to many of Hollywood’s leading ladies, and at one stage was simultaneously coaching and romancing screen siren Marlene Dietrich …

 

The Berlin cabaret singer became Hollywood’s highest-paid actress after starring opposite Gary Cooper, whom she described “as neither intelligent nor cultured”, in her first American film, Morocco. The movie garnered Dietrich her first and only Oscar nomination, but was remembered more for a lesbian kiss and her provocative performance of a song while wearing a man’s tie. A love affair with alcohol and a fractured leg confined her to bed and seclusion for the final 12 years of her life, and she was last seen on screen in Just a Gigolo, featuring the equally androgynous David Bowie … 

 

As the Thin White Duke, Bowie began recording the album Station to Station in the mid-70s while teetering on the edge of cocaine psychosis. Notorious as much for his promiscuity as his white powder consumption, Bowie admitted having “doubts about my sanity” and that he had struggled to separate himself from his pre-Duke alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. It was during the Ziggy era that Angie, Bowie’s then wife, reportedly returned to their London home to find her husband not dancing in the street but fast asleep in bed with a naked Mick Jagger …

 

The rubber-lipped and sugar-hipped frontman of the Rolling Stones is celebrating his band’s 50th anniversary this year with the release of an in-depth documentary and photo diary. A worldwide tour has now been delayed until 2013 due to worries about guitarist Keith Richards’ health, although the Stones actually consider their true birth year to be 1963, when drummer Charlie Watts joined the band. The Stones, no strangers to turning promotional shoots into parties, were once photographed aboard the SS Sea Panther on New York’s Hudson River by the only unofficial photographer on board that day, Town & Country magazine receptionist Linda Eastman …

 

Eastman, who became Mrs McCartney after she married the “cute Beatle” Paul, is the only photographer to have both appeared on the cover and taken the cover photo of music magazine Rolling Stone. An avid animal rights activist, McCartney formed the first professional allvegetarian cycling team, the Linda McCartney Racing  Team, in 1998, but it folded in 2001 under mounting debts. One rider who joined that year but never got to ride in the team’s strip was a Mr Bradley Wiggins.