Olivia Colman and Joanna Lumley among celebrities to reveal childhood dreams

A variety of famous faces have spoken about their childhood career ambitions in support of a charity campaign.

Olivia Colman is among the celebrities who have revealed their childhood dreams (Ian West/PA)

By Connie Evans, PA Entertainment Reporter

Olivia Colman has revealed she wanted to be a nurse when she was a child, while Dame Joanna Lumley has spoken about her childhood dream of becoming prime minister.

As part of a new Guide Dogs campaign, a host of famous faces have recalled their childhood career ambitions.

Oscar-winner Colman, 48, told the sight loss charity: “I thought I’d be a nurse. When you are little, an exciting rite of passage is to dream about what you’ll be when you grow up.

“It’s great that Guide Dogs is supporting and empowering children with a vision impairment to make their dreams a reality.”

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Dame Joanna, 76, revealed that she had a number of different career ambitions during her childhood.

“I wanted to be prime minister, a brain surgeon, a famous explorer and a pirate,” she said.

“But then I discovered that, as an actress, it was rather easy to be all these things – and a queen, wicked aunt, Tiger Lily, singing cow, ghost and rag doll as well. Hey diddly dee! An actor’s life for me!”

Guide Dogs commissioned research into what children with visual impairments want to be when they grow up, after reports that 75% of visually impaired adults are out of work.

The charity has launched its Every Dream Counts campaign with the hope of providing tools and inspiration to children with visual impairments who are concerned that their disability will hold them back from finding their dream job.

Joanna Lumley revealed she had hopes of being the Prime Minister (Joanna Lumley/PA)

TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham said he dreamed of being a Thunderbirds pilot, while MasterChef’s Gregg Wallace wanted to join the Royal Navy.

A number of the celebrities who took part in the campaign revealed they have been successful in achieving their childhood dream.

Broadcaster and journalist Eamonn Holmes said: “From the age of 10 I wanted to be a broadcast journalist.

“This was borne out of seeing the (Northern Ireland) Troubles developing around me and being reported on television. I always had this mission to explain within me.”

TV chef and presenter Matt Tebbutt said: “I did toy with the idea of joining the RAF as a boy, but my real passion has always been food. And this passion started on family holidays to northern France.”

Olivia Colman revealed she wanted to be a nurse when she was a child (Olivia Colman/PA)

Some stars spoke of their childhood desire to fulfil adventurous ambitions, including TV presenter Nick Knowles, who wanted to be an explorer, and Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, who said: “I wanted to be an astronaut or a bear wrestler!”

Countdown star Susie Dent said: “I had two very different ambitions – one to be a poet, sitting in a remote part of the countryside and composing words, and the other to be a hotel manager, as whenever we were lucky enough to stay in one as a family I never wanted to leave!”

Broadcaster and comedian Paul O’Grady revealed a more unusual childhood desire – to work in a dry cleaner’s.

He said: “When I was very young, I wanted to work on the counter of a dry cleaner’s, then I wanted to be a secret agent and, if they wouldn’t have me, it was a toss-up between becoming a chemist or working at Chester Zoo.”

– The Guide Dogs Every Dream Counts campaign supports children with visual impairments to fulfil their dreams through a range of ongoing services.

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