There are just so many cool men in Wales right now, fellas who are talented, with plenty of swagger and who are all totally awesome.
So let’s meet the gents who’ve made the first ever WalesOnline Cool List 2015.
Start fanning yourselves now at their brilliance…
50. Kieran Evans
Film director and festival curator
Kieran won his first Bafta for dark love story Kelly Victor and this year he helped Manics’ Nicky Wire curate a film festival for the Velvet Coalmine Festival. He’s currently in Patagonia with the Velindre charity trek.
49. Nigel Owens
International rugby union referee
Nigel is not only a very funny man but he is an amazing referee, handpicked to keep his beady eye on the Rugby World Cup final match between Australia and New Zealand. And he wasn’t afraid to tell Dan Carter off for swearing, telling him: “Don’t swear now, you’re on the telly mind.” Genius.
48. Chalkie Davies
From Sully, near Cardiff, Chalkie has photographed some of rock’s biggest names including David Bowie and Bob Dylan. But it took 40 years to show his work back home with a brilliant exhibition in the capital’s National Museum Wales.
47. Keri Collins
Hard-working Pontypool-born Keri won the Bafta Cymru Breakthrough Award earlier this year, and he’s already made a feature film with one of Britain’s hottest actresses, Vicky McClure. Oh, and the 36-year-old has also been mentored by Kenneth Branagh. He directed his second feature film, My Romantic History, a rom-com set in Cardiff, earlier this year.
46. Jason Mohammad
As one of the BBC’s star personalities, Cardiff-born Jason has reported from and watched the Olympics, the World Cup in Brazil and the Commonwealth games, not to mention a few Six Nations matches as well as letting us know the footy scores each week. He’s a softy mind, and said nothing compares to seeing his daughter Lili win on stage at the Eisteddfod.
45. Sir Michael Moritz
The Cardiff financier of the dotcom revolution, he provided investments in Google, Yahoo, Paypal and YouTube and changed the way we think, work, learn and play. Now that’s something.
45. David Hieatt
The man who also set up Howies
The former Saatchi advertising copywriter is a whizz at launching ideas and co-founded two successful clothing companies and set up the inspirational international Do Lectures, where speakers from all over the world share their advice and expertise to help others.
44. Manic Street Preachers
Superstar rock gods
The Blackwood rockers have just celebrated their 20th anniversary and are still as loved as they have ever been. We think Nicky Wire deserves special credit because he still looks great in a skirt. What other rock star can get away with wearing a dress in his ‘40s?
43. Owain Fon Williams
Patient and patriotic Welsh footballer
Owain is the Welsh reserve goalkeeper who waited six years to finally come off the bench to make his debut for Wales. He also happens to be the team’s ace guitar player (and led celebrations in Israel with his rendition of Elton John’s Your Song). He’s even had an exhibition of his paintings put on in North Wales.
42. Jamie Roberts
Welsh rugby player and medicine man
We love a rugby player here in Wales but add a brilliant brain to the equation and you’ve got a pretty cool customer. Jamie, who plays for the Harlequins, is now studying a post-graduate degree at Cambridge University. Swoon.
41. Ioan Gruffudd
Actor and proud Welshman
Anyone who parties in his pants like Hollywood actor Ioan did when Wales stormed to victory 28-25 at Twickenham in the Rugby World Cup has got to be on this list. Thanks to his actress wife Alice Evans, the whole world got to see how he quite literally lost his trousers in all the excitement. Total class.
40. Phaldut Sharma
Former EastEnders actor
He shook up the residents of Walford as the wise-cracking, wheeler-dealing AJ Masood, and also starred in Cuffs and Cucumber. He’s just starred in I Gotta Be Me, a 10-part online comedy which follows a frustrated soap star as he travels to Cyprus to perform a Rat Pack tribute show.
39. Joe Ledley
Wales footballer with incredible beard
He sparked something of a dance craze when celebrating Wales’ historic entry into the Euro 2016 European championships in France. Talk about nifty on his feet! Surely another future Strictly Come Dancing contestant?
38. Rhys Ifans
Hollywood star with attitude
The Ruthin star been in rather a lot of music videos including one for the Oasis single The Importance of Being Idle. He accepted their award for Video of the Year for that at the 2006 NME Awards in typical style. His film credits are as long as his arm.
37. Owain Wyn Evans
Weather presenter and cat lover
He’s a familiar face with the young Welsh audience after presenting BBC Wales’ children’s news programme Ffeil straight out of school. Now he’s letting us know whether it’s going to rain or not as does the forecast on BBC Wales Today and Radio Wales. He’s also a talented drummer with a soft spot for all things feline.
36. Elis James
He made producers turn his character in sitcom Josh into a Wales fan so he could wear (and extend) his collection of rare retro Welsh football tops. Plus he did the first stand-ups in Welsh language and became a dad with partner Issy Sutie of Peep Show fame.
35. Matt Johnson
TV presenter for Good Morning Britain
We like a guy who doesn’t take himself to seriously and Caerphilly’s Matt certainly doesn’t do that. His Welsh charm has won over many fans thanks to presenting roles on This Morning and Good Morning Britain and we think it’s high time he got himself a Saturday night presenting gig too. Watch this space.
34. Kelly Jones (r) and Richard Jones (2nd left)
While lead singer Kelly is often seen as the one getting all the attention, we think his co-star Richard is just as cool. He’s the quiet man with the rockabilly quiff and tattoos and deserves to be up here with his best mate sharing the limelight.
33. Jonny Owen
Merthyr boy who does it all
He created Svengali, the rock ‘n’ roll movie, and met his girlfriend on set – who just happens to be actress Vicky McClure. You may also have seen him in the edgy youth drama Glue. As well as that, the Cardiff City fan made what has been described as “the best footie film ever” about Brian Clough and Nottingham Forest called I Believe in Miracles.
32. Jacob Ifan
Star of Cuffs
Cardiff-born Jacob (left) brightens up Wednesday nights in the new cop drama as PC Jake Vickers. The 22-year-old said it’s been a whirlwind few months because he’s not long graduated from Royal Welsh College of Music Drama.
31. Aled Sion Davies
Paralymplic shot-putter and discus thrower
With more gold medals than Mr T, Aled decided aged 14 that he wanted to one day win a Paralympic Gold. And he did just that in London 2012 when he became the first Team GB champ at the Paralympic Games in the F42 Discus with a throw of 46.13m.
30. Aaron Ramsey
Wales and Arsenal football whizz
Not only does he sport a very trendy quiff that all young football fans are asking for in barbers now, he’s just become a dad for the first time with his wife Colleen. Currently nursing an injury, he’s a huge part of the Arsenal set-up and does loads for charity.
29. Sam Warburton
He is the gentle giant who runs out for the Cardiff Blues and Wales’ national side with patriotism and the weight of the country’s expectations on his rather large shoulders. But our Sam takes it all in his giant stride.
28. Larkin Cen and Dale Williams
MasterChefs and businessmen
This foodpreneurs took their experience appearing on MasterChef to the masses when they opened Asian takeaway Hokkei in Cardiff, which has just celebrated its first birthday. Such has been their success, the pair are hoping to open a new venue very soon so we can enjoy even more baos (that’s an Asian steamed bun in case you were wondering).
27. Aneurin Barnard
Film, stage and TV actor
Another former winner of our sexy list, Aneurin gave a brilliant performance opposite Sheridan Smith as Bobby Willis in Cilla and played his steamiest role yet in this year’s BBC adaptation of the Scandalous Lady W, a bodice-ripping yarn alongside Natalie Dormer.
26. Sam Jones and Rhydian Powell
Creators of no-nonsense clothing label
The Merthyr duo launched the brand in 2004 and have transformed it into a worldwide success story. Everyone from Danny Dyer to The Streets’ Mike Skinner wears their gear.
25. Dan Bettridge
Singer songwriter from Ogmore-by-Sea
He was handpicked to play in ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris’ studio during the Truck Festival. And if ‘Whispering’ Bob thinks you’re cool, we’re never going to argue.
24. Shane Williams
Welsh rugby legend
He’s another celebrity currently making a trek to Patagonia for Velindre. Shane may have retired from rugby but he’s a regular pundit on our screens, constantly recording videos with his thoughts on the great game on social media.
23. Christian Malcolm
Olympic athlete turned presenter
The double World Championship and Commonwealth Games medal winner from Newport may have called time on his illustrious athletic career but he has just showed what he was made of on ITV’s Eternal Glory, alongside fellow Welshman Shane Williams. He’s now harbouring plans to help future athletes reach their dreams.
22. Sir Tom Jones
Welsh king of music
This man needs absolutely no introduction. The silver fox is the coolest 75-year-old we know and shows no signs of slowing down. He is currently enjoying another rebirth, thanks to his brilliant album Long Lost Suitcase. So does he need The Voice anymore? Er, no. Their loss.
21. Taron Egerton
Super spy of Kingsman
Another Welsh boy doing good in film land, Aberystwyth-native Taron, who won Best Newcomer at the Empire Film Awards, is signed up to play Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin in Kingsman 2 and is also committed to playing a young Robin Hood in Leonardo DiCaprio’s upcoming Robin Hood: Origins.
20. Pino Palladino
Bass player who headlined Glasto
Whitchurch native Pino has spent his career as bass player to the stars. It’s more a case of who he hasn’t played with than who he has. His rollcall of honour includes (deep breath) The Who, Gary Numan, David Gilmour, Tears for Fears, Pete Townshend, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Chaka Khan, Simon and Garfunkel, Joe Walsh, Nine Inch Nails and John Mayer.
19. Adam Jones
Former Wales rugby star
The curly-haired legendary Six Nations and British Lions player may look tough as old boots but we love him for revealing big boys really do cry. He said in his book Bomb that being axed from the Welsh squad left him “sobbing uncontrollably.” Made us all want to give the big fella a big cwtch.
18. Tom Rhys Harries
Actor with a big future
Currently bringing a bit of Welsh swagger to ITV’s Jekyll and Hyde. The Cardiff actor was singled out as a star of tomorrow in 2012 by Screen International and he’s certainly proving them right. He starred in The Inbetweeners movie and Hunky Dory alongside Minnie Driver.
17. Ashley Powys
He’s the Welshman who stopped an Islamaphobic attack on a Muslim girl on a London Tube train.
Ashley, 22, stepped in when he saw the teenager being subjected to racist abuse just days after the Paris attacks and ended up missing his stop to make sure she was OK. That won him a lot of fans, including us. What a gent.
16. Huw Stephens
Radio 1 DJ and new music champion
Welsh-speaking Huw joined Radio 1 in 1999 at the tender age of 17 as part of the station’s new regional output and he’s been a wonder on the airwaves ever since, making sure as much Welsh music is heard as possible. Definitely the John Peel of our generation.
15. Owain Yeoman
Reptilian baddie in Supergirl
The actor, who starred as Wayne Rigsby in The Mentalist, is riding high in LA right now, thanks to a role as an American traitor in Civil War drama Turn and as Vartox in Supergirl. Even when film director Clint Eastwood stood on his foot he didn’t flinch. Hard as nails and uber awesome.
14. Matthew Hitt
Model and rocker
Rhondda-born, he’s the New York-dwelling catwalk king and frontman with achingly hip, indie pop outfit Drowners and is a pal of Harry Styles (pictured). He’s also caught the eye of Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson and Zara clothing, whom he’s just done a photoshoot for.
13. Matt Ryan
Swansea actor on Broadway
He’s due to resurrect the part of Constantine on DC show Arrow and has just made his Broadway debut opposite Keira Knightley in Therese Raquin. The 34-year-old, who also appeared in Layer Cake and police drama Criminal Minds, plays the man whose passionate affair with Therese (Knightley) turns dangerous.
12. Pretty Vicious
Music makers from Merthyr Tydfil
Fresh out of the box (and school) the rock ‘n’ rollers are causing quite a stir. Signed to Virgin EMI Records, they performed at Glastonbury and Isle of Wight Festival and supported Manic Street Preachers in their Cardiff Castle gig.
11. Christian Amodeo
Founder of I Loves The ‘Diff
Christian loves his home town of Cardiff so much, he made an ‘I Loves The Diff’ hoodie and has gone on to create a range of merchandise and an award-winning website under that name. That and his Taffywood merchandise has become a cult brand with celebs and fellow Cardiffians.
10. Gareth Bale
Wales and Real Madrid footballer
The world’s most expensive footballer. Fact. And he’s from Cardiff. Double fact. Gareth may have all the riches in the world but the dad-of-one likes nothing best than coming home to Wales to see his mum and dad. And spending time with girlfriend Emma and Alba of course.
9. Leigh Halfpenny
Rugby pin up and pride of the nation
Poor Leigh was hampered by injury which stopped him appearing in the Rugby World Cup but the Toulon and Lions points machine is still working hard for his sponsors. He ended up watching the World Cup final not from the comfort of his Gorseinon home but in a village hall in Ambroath.
8. Luke Evans
Winner of our 2014 Sexy List, Luke oozes charm and is the epitome of cool. Super talented, the 36-year-old Fast Furious thesp is currently filming The Girl On The Train and has just completed the role of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. You’ll also recognise him from The Hobbit and Dracula Untold.
7. Ash Dykes
When he was 19, Ash boarded a plane and left to explore the world and became the first recorded person to complete a solo and unsupported walk across Mongolia. Phew! He’s now on an expedition to traverse the entire length of Madagascar. Puts braving those Black Friday sales in the shade.
6. Gruff Rhys
Singer songwriter extraordinaire
He’s the perma-bobble hat wearing bearded Super Furry Animal who also happens to be a bit of a genius who can pull insanely catchy tunes from mid-air. He’s also written a Christmas play called -wait for it – The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion.
5. Craig Roberts
Actor and director
The Maesycwmmer lad (above left) has been acting since the age of 14 and has had parts in Hollywood comedy hits as well as the lead role of Oliver Tate in Submarine, the coming-of-age drama. At 24 the Richard Ayoade protégé has just directed his first feature Just Jim, which he also wrote and starred in. Move over Brad Pitt we say.
4. Chris Coleman
Wales football manager
The 6ft 2in former footballer led Wales to their first major finals in 50 years, married Sky Sports News presenter Charlotte Jackson and had a baby boy at 45. Not a bad year for him then. Oh, and he turned on Merthyr’s Christmas lights last week. Now that’s cool.
3. Geraint Thomas
Super brill pro cyclist
He is a double Olympic Gold medallist, Commonwealth Games road champion, three times World Champion and an absolutely all-round top gent. Cardiff-born Geraint is at the top of his game through sheer hard work, determination and a lot of love for his bike. When you’re tucking into your turkey dinner with all the trimmings this Christmas, you can bet he’ll be out training. He’s that kind of guy.
2. Rhod Gilbert
Comedian and trekker
The funniest Welshman alive is about to conquer Patagonia alongside members of the Manic Street Preachers and Derek Brockway for Velindre. It’s no mean feat considering he slipped a disc just weeks before he was due to fly out and his previous trek to Kilimanjaro. Scaling Africa’s highest peak almost broke him but he’s back to giving it another go and is bound to have everyone else in stitches.
1. Dan Biggar
Osprey and Wales rugby star
Look, we’re not going to be able to include every single RWC rugby player (much as we’d love to) but Swansea Dan deserves his place on the top of this list, not just for scoring so many points at the tournament, but for giving us the Biggarena. Who knew his kicking jive would cause such a sensation? Maybe a future contestant for Strictly Come Dancing? Oh, yes please.
Image Hyperlink Example