Here’s a list of successful Bristol alumni who will inspire you to get your Bristol Uni degree
Ranging from the head of the MI5 to an affiliate of Albert Einstein
As the evenings draw in, January exams loom around the corner and your student loan starts to wear thin, the opportunity arises for us to remind you why you ever decided to attend university.
With our non-exhaustive list of Bristol University alumni, ranging from the head of the MI5 to an affiliate of Albert Einstein, if anything can inspire you to attend your post-fishies nine a.m. seminar, we hope it is this.
David Walliams, Drama, 1992
What does Britain’s Got Talent, a crown jewel stealing granny and the Bristol student accommodation Manor Hall, all have in common?
David Walliams, author, comedian and television presenter came to Bristol to get a drama degree and left with something much more important, his friendship with Matt Lucas.
Jonathon Evans, Classic Studies, 1980
Bristol university graduate Jonathan Evans was head of the MI5 from 2007- 2013. Whilst his 33 year long career in the Security Service was primarily focused on counter terrorism, we can only assume that the biggest threat Evans encountered during his time in Bristol’s Hiatt baker halls came in the form of North London Depop-girlies.
Will Poulter, Drama, 2013 (withdrew)
Actor Will Poulter has starred in a multitude of award-winning films, yet his role as a drug smuggler’s son in the American comedy “We’re The Millers”, seems particularly fitting when accompanied by the fact that Poulter spent his first year of studies living in Badock.
In addition to his acting, Poulter is a vocal activist, one example being when he wrote to Bristol University’s Vice-Chancellor pleading for a stop to the “forced rat swim experiments” being conducted at the university.
Nizar Ibrahim, Geology and Biology, 2006
Nizar Ibrahim is a successful palaeontologist (someone who looks at fossils), whose discovery of new Spinosaurus remains was included in National Geographic’s “Top 20 scientific discoveries of the decade”.
Whilst this discovery is impressive, dare we suggest there might be something even older than Spinosaurus fossils moulding in the back corner of your university fridge?
Susanna Reid, Politics and Philosophy, 1992
Journalist and television presenter Susanna Reid revealed she spent her time at Bristol University drinking Diamond White cider and treating herself at Bristol’s White Lion bar.
The Daily mail reported how Suzanna “scandalised university campus”, when she had a fling with one of her university professors. Whilst unconfirmed this is unsurprising as how else was she supposed to afford the White Lion’s £7 Aperol Spritz?
Angela Carter, English – specialising in medieval literature, 1964
Angela Carter is a radical feminist novelist whose work, the 1979 “The Bloody Chamber” included gothic reinterpretations of classic fairy tales. A labour supporting, Thatcher-resenting, radical- libertarian feminist, Carter does not seem too dissimilar from Bristol’s average tote bag wielding English literature student.
Matt Lucas, Theatre, Film and Television, 1995, Hons DLitt, 2017
Despite describing himself as “generally useless at university life”, the influence of his time spent in Bristol is evident in Matt Lucas’s comedic work. This is most notable in his character Vicky Pollard, whose catchphrase “yeah but, no but” was based on a schoolboy Lucas spoke to in Broadmead.
Devoid of offering you any intellectual inspiration, Matt Lucas is a prime example of how a degree is only one of the many things you will take away from Bristol University.
Paul Dirac, BSc, Electrical Engineering, 1921
Next we have the Nobel Prize winning physicist Paul Dirac. Dirac’s time studying in Bristol preceded a career riddled with greatness, his most notable achievement being the “Dirac equation” of 1928. With his influence upon the advancement of physics described by Steven Hawking as second to none other than Albert Einstein. Dirac’s success serves to arm you with the perfect bit of Bristol University trivia to impress your grandparents over Christmas dinner.
James Blunt, Aerospace manufacturing engineering and sociology, 1996, Hons DMus, 2016
“If I could turn back the clock to any time in my life, it would be to Bristol University. I would profess it to be the best university in the world.”
This glowing testimony from singer James Blunt conveniently misses out when he nearly said, “Goodbye My Lover” to his physical health, after deciding to eat a diet of only meat in an act of defiance against the vegans on his sociology course.
Pearl Mackie, Drama, 2008
Actress Pearl Mackie enjoyed her time so much at the university of Bristol that she decided to relive it in her role as Bill Potts in Doctor Who, a character who studied in a fictional University in Bristol named “St Luke’s”.
Klaus Fuchs, Physics, 1937
Following his time studying physics at the University of Bristol, Klaus Fuchs used his place as a key developer of the atomic bomb in order to pass information to the Soviet Union. So, next time you consider smuggling ten steam cups underneath your Afghan coat, take a moment to remember you never know who could be watching.
Joe Alwyn, English Literature, 2012
“He was really quite boring, I didn’t think he’d really do that well in life”, were the affectionate words of one of Joe Alwyn’s previous lectures (as revealed in a 2018 comment on @bristruths). Despite his failure to charm his university professor, actor Joe Alwyn was slightly more successful in capturing the heart of the music industry herself, Taylor Swift, who he has been dating since 2016.