Well we claim him as an Aussie, but NZ born Russell Crowe worked on the tools before becoming a Gladiator. We can’t blame him, but he had the fitness and skills from being a tradie to carry him into the arena. 

Of course the most famous, besides the eternal Mario Brothers, was the fictional portable toilet rental side of the industry in Kenny played by actor Shane Jacobson. Humour gave plumbing a new profile via the ‘Dunny Man’. Many generations have Memories of the Night Soil collectors who carried away the human waste here in Australia before sewerage or septic tanks made life more convenient and less odorous – and thanks be to the plumbers who installed those systems, and those who have maintained or upgraded them as time has moved on. 

I wonder how many apprentices signed on after that movie was released? 

Overseas, Jon Gotti, New York mobster crime boss found a way to launder money by creating a plumbing supply company. Known as The Teflon Don because charges didn’t stick, he stayed under the radar during the 1970s and 1980s. 

Conor McGregor is credited to being one of the all-time mixed martial arts champions. Starting his working life as a plumber’s apprentice at the age of 17, he trained for 18 months, building his muscle and mental problem-solving skills before choosing to fight full-time. 

Ozzy Osbourne had a checkered start to his rock music stardom. He began his working life as a plumber’s assistant, but the Prince of Darkness soon gave away the tools when he turned to a life of crime, then his bad boy music career. Joe Cocker was also in the trade before his gravel voice shot him to fame as a muso. 

Actor Bob Hoskins ironically played a plumber in the Super Mario Bros movie based on the 1980s game – he had started his struggling acting career by taking on a few manual jobs, including as a plumber assistant. Sir Michael Caine’s famous acting career had also been kick-started by earning as a plumber assistant before he won his now legendary roles. 

The plumbing trade is seen as a very stable one. It is seen as an essential household and commercial service – from hot water to flushing toilets, drains and diversions, plumbing provides a valuable pathway for those starting their working lives. 

So many famous names have paid tribute to their tradie beginnings.