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Nottingham Castle

12 of Nottingham's Most Famous Graduates

16 September 21 words: LeftLion

Both of the universities in Nottingham have seen household names step foot through their doors over the years...

Matt Berry - Nottingham Trent University

This funny bloke has appeared in classics such as What We Do In The Shadows, The Mighty Boosh and The IT Crowd, as well as winning a BAFTA for the title role in Toast of London. He studied Contemporary Arts, and said it was his time at university that made him realise the arts was where he wanted to focus his time.

Ruth Wilson - University of Nottingham

After studying History, Ruth went on to become a three-time Olivier nominee and two-time winner. She has appeared in BBC's His Dark Materials, Luther and as Alison Lockhart in The Affair, for which she won a Golden Globe. Her trophy cabinet is jam-packed.

Bobby Friction - Nottingham Trent University

He’s an award-winning BBC radio presenter and DJ who studied Creative Arts, during which he made art from cages and ghetto blasters. “Nottingham taught me to actually be and live the art,” he said. “It meant that I could come up with original ideas in the corporate entertainment world.”

Don Broco - University of Nottingham

The lads formed the alt-rock/pop-rock/post-hardcore band after studying at uni together. They’ve had three top-ten albums, played at festivals like Download, and supported mega bands such as Bring Me the Horizon and 5 Seconds of Summer.

Varun Dhawan - Nottingham Trent University

Before becoming one of Bollywood’s most well-known - and well-paid - stars, Varun Dhawan bagged a degree in Business Studies. The 34-year-old, who boasts an astonishing 11.9m followers on Twitter, once said of his time in Nottingham: “I have done many crazy things over there.” 

London Grammar - University of Nottingham

The three-piece band managed to snag themselves a record deal right after they graduated. Their first big gig was at The Bodega, of which guitarist Dan Rothman said: “It was our first proper venue, in terms of it not being a pub or club thing – a very exciting experience.”

Dan Hardy - Nottingham Trent University

Dan ‘The Outlaw’ Hardy is a former UFC Fighter and nowadays a commentator, who studied Fine Art. For one performance piece, he hung a punchbag from the ceiling of his art studio and punched it for six hours non-stop. He was an analyst for the mammoth Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather fight in 2017.

Theo James - University of Nottingham

Theo studied Philosophy before joining the Bristol Old Theatre School. He then went on to become a renowned hunk by playing Tobias “Four” Eaton in the Divergent franchise. You might also know him as the smarmy holiday rep that dates Carly in The Inbetweeners Movie.

Dame Laura Knight - Nottingham Trent University

This lady was a bit of a badass back in the day. She was one of the most famous painters in Britain at the time and specialised in realist paintings, depicting events like the World Wars. Her success paved the way for other female artists to be successful and recognised in what was a male-dominated industry. 

Professor Van-Tam - University of Nottingham

This man has been front-and-centre throughout the pandemic, with his calm approach to press conferences helping to reassure the country during a challenging time. Deputy Chief Medical Officer, MBE, and former student and senior lecturer at UoN, Jonathan Van-Tam is a proper smart cookie.

Carly Telford - Nottingham Trent University

In 2015, Carly Telford graduated from NTU with a media degree and was called up to England's World Cup squad. Not a bad twelve months, that. Four years later, she stepped up between the sticks in a tense semi-final against the United States. The Chelsea ‘keeper said she really enjoyed her time in this “vibrant city”. 

Liz Carr - University of Nottingham

Acting, comedy, broadcasting, activism; Liz Carr has done it all. Studying law wasn’t a problem either - she graduated back in 1993. Since then she’s featured in The OA and Silent Witness and toured the globe telling jokes. She’ll soon join Henry Cavill in the second season of The Witcher, too.

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