TOP 10 REVEALED: The Biggest BNOCs of 2017

Cambridge’s biggest egos are going to get even bigger

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If there’s one thing the ten most well-known people in Cambridge don’t need, it’s external verification of their own self-importance. 

After 1605 nominations, tens-of-thousands of votes and countless pleas for attention over social media, our fun-but-also-incredibly-important-to-some-people BNOC competition is reaching its less-than-humble conclusion.

Read on to find out who YOU crowned the biggest names in Cambridge.

Read more: Top 50 Biggest BNOCs Revealed

10. Emrys Travis, John’s

Social Justice Warrior, Facebook Fame, CUSU

Is it a coincidence that last year’s Number 10 was Hesham Mashhour? Both individuals are renowned activists, anti-establishment personalities and have exasperated relations with this newspaper. Still, it is somewhat impressive they have managed to make it into the top 10 whilst not even in Cambridge, as they are on their year abroad.

Emrys told The Tab “I’m truly flattered to be a Big Name even when hundreds of miles from being On Campus.

I’m not sure whether I should take the reminder that people haven’t forgotten about me on my year abroad as a threat or a promise”. Social justice transcends borders and crosses the seas, Em.

9. Xelia Mendes-Jones, Catz

ADC, Sport, Professional Networker, Facebook Fame, Poet | “The first thing I ever said to her was “I love your aesthetic” whilst drunk. Since then we bonded over memes and I know it’s a friendship to last.”

When a child was born, ca. 1995, it was obvious from the start that this baby would reach the pinnacle of her life in the Year 2017, when the girl would place No. 9 on an internationally-syndicated popularity contest run by the most-read newspaper at the second-best University in the world. In preparation for this moment, her parents gave her the name “Xelia” and a double-barrelled surname, leaving stunned observers perpetually wondering where exactly this marvel of nomenclature stands.

Xelia is queen of the tactical nap, once having taken a snooze in a booth in Life, but perhaps most famous for her poetry on the May Ball Marketplace last year in a desperate attempt to get a Jesus May Ball ticket (she succeeded). 

That shameless self-promo tho

8. Bobby Seagull, Emma

Facebook Fame, University Challenge

A slightly less famous Ted Loveday, Bobby is known for sharing a surname with a bird, and his appearances on University Challenge. In preparation for his appearance on national television, Bobby apparently regularly signs up to swaps and asks everyone to prepare an obscure general knowledge fact to tell him at the swap. Then at the swap, he asks everyone for their date of birth and tells them a fun fact about it.

Bobby told The Tab, “I’d like to thank my parents for supporting me and I dedicate this 8th place on the BNOC list to them. Cambridge is a special place where knowing the difference between your Vermeers and your Van Goghs can earn you a free half-pint.

I hope Tab readers can get behind #TeamEmma as we quiz for a place in the grand final!”

7. Will McDermott, Sabb

Rag King, Rower, Social Justice Warrior | “He once slept in a hedge because he was locked out of his room then got up at 6 to go rowing.”

As head of RAG, Will McDermott distinguishes himself primarily on this list as the only individual not guilty of savage and continuous self-promotion, but rather the necessary and moral but still savage and continuous promotion of such activities as RAG Blind Date. He also apparently organised himself two blind dates on said RAG blind date and took them out consecutively (lad). 

Will was thrilled with his victory, mainly because it meant that “people read my weekly emails”. He continued: “I don’t even go here any more. This is ‘Fake News’. Absolutely none of the people who voted for me go to Cambridge of that I’m certain”.

Who wouldn’t go on two blind dates with him?

6. Kate Dunbar, Magdalene

Union Hack, Professional Networker | “She recently declared on Facebook that since adding ‘President of the Cambridge Union’ to her bio, her matches on tinder have gone up by 150%. That wasn’t bragging – it was just stating a fact.”

What a babe. The best (who says Tab and Union people are friends?). Dunbar, a native of Magdalene, runs an organisation called The Cambridge Union Society, whose primary hobbies are taking dues from freshers and terrorising the intellectual elite of Cambridge with #freezepeach, or #freezedebate as it has been known since circa Michaelmas 2016. According to friends, Kate had the same normal upbringing as the whole of the Union committee as she “grew up in the Whole Foods on High Street Kensington”.

When told of her victory, Kate said  “I’m delighted by my position in the top ten but when I posted a Facebook status yesterday asking someone in the UL to lend me a cigarette no one did, so what even is the point?”

Queen of the power stance

5. Tom L, Girton

Person that most people know but don’t know why, Facebook Fame | “That famous Jacob rant, and everything that he does in maths lectures.”

The most famous person to come out of Girton since Sandi Toksvig, this first-year mememo shot to fame off the back of a Selwyn porter with a condom on his nose.

Rumoured to have a half-blue in dancesport, on the BNOC campaign trail, he allegedly also got up halfway through a lecture, whilst the lecturer was speaking, to write on the chalkboard “BNOC” and the draw an arrow to his seat before returning.

A regular fixture on Memebridge, Tom shot to the dizzying heights of being a household/gyp/JCR name within Cambridge within his first term. However, with Lent’s arrival of Crushbridge, Grudgebridge, and of course Benchbridge, Cantabs are now being exposed to on average 7 trillion references to “The Bubble” a day over Facebook, so his notority may well be in jeopardy. He plans to sustain his celebrity status with the art of pantomime.


4. Joe Binder, Fitz

Youtube, Vlogger, Facebook Fame | “His daily dinner consists of rice, baked beans, tuna and balsamic vinegar all mixed together. He also is quite smelly and annoying.”

Joe Binder is king of social media. He is best known for his YouTube vlogs, which have stacked up hundreds of millions of views online. He’s second best known for his collaboration with #instafamous icon Caroline Calloway, and third best known for founding Students of Cambridge’, which has amassed over 10,000 Facebook likes. 

Joe told The Tab “I owe all my vlog success to Harry. If I could cut this award in half I would. What he has done for my Jewish friends is incredible.”

Hot on the heels of the social media fame that 2016 found him, Binder teased his online fandom of just what his 2017 might include.

In other news, Kanye is running for RAG Sabb

3. Allan Hennessy, Fitz 

Professional Networker, Social Justice Warrior, Journalism Hack | “Please make sure he’s on this”

Third-year law student Allan also seems to have grown in notoriety over the past year, jumping from 5th to 3rd. Allan, please direct any legal complaints about the text which follows to [email protected]Known for the waviest of wavy garms and for having written for almost every publication under the sun, Allan has even appeared on BBC’s “This Week”.

Allan told us, “The world is not what it was last February. Much has changed – both in my personal life and the world around me – since I had my ego massaged 12 months ago. Brexit means Brexit. Trump. Class lists. Yet some things have stayed the same: my notoriety has survived the death of neoliberalism. I’m still a legend. I’m still the realest bitch on the circuit. I still tell people about themselves when they need to be told. And – alas – I’m still single.  Commenting on the last year’s top 10, I asked whether big name in fact meant ‘big heart’ or ‘big twat/ego’?”

“The inclusion of certain new arrivals into the Top 10 has clarified any confusion I once had. As the sun sets on my Cambridge career, I would like to thank my family and my friends, without whom I would not be on this list. They have seen me through the vitriol and defamation. They helped me on the campaign trail, on that mighty journey to BNOChood; New Hampshire was tough, Iowa was even tougher, but they were there when it was all smiles in Chicago. This award is for them.”

“I didn’t get the keys to the White House but, like Hilary, I came oh so close.”

Allan featured on BBC ‘The Week’ last year

2. Lola Olufemi, Selywn

ADC / theatre scene, College JCR Fame, Social Justice Warrior

Shooting up from 7th place last year, third-year English student and social justice warrior Lola has clearly not let looming exams and graduation prevent her BNOCery. Known not only as CUSU Women’s Campaign BME rep, Lola also frequently features at the ADC and on the Cambridge theatre scene, and is currently co-writing a play to be performed at the Corpus Playroom at the end of this term. 

It was reported that Lola had received the highest ever number of likes on a Students of Cambridge Facebook post, and a year on she is still yet to be beaten, now increasing to 2800 likes and 459 shares, launching her firmly into the depths of Facebook fame.

A woman of few words, Lola jumped off the ADC stage and simply told The Tab “thanks!”.


Ultimate thesp



1. Amatey Doku, Sabb

CUSU King | “Many a student has my man Amatey on Facebook, he gets every fresher to add him at the beginning of the year and many know him in the years above. But my first year Michaelmas was made when he actually added me last term. What a beautiful friendship this has been.”

Amatey “The King” Doku, is a man of many talents, ranging from the political to the vocal. He began his career as a lowly bass in the Jesus Choir, before attaining the status of college culture figure, then the title of “least despised CUSU president in the 21st century” in a dramatic landslide election.

In celebration of his victory, Amatey told The Tab “I’m delighted and honoured to have been recognised with such a prestigious accolade.The endless hours of adding as many Cambridge students as possible on Facebook and sending emails to all students each week with my face on it have clearly paid off. With elections for CUSU sabbatical officers on the horizon, I would encourage anyone wishing to be immortalised in this way to really consider running for my position.” Nice plug, Amatey.

The winning smile

Give a warm reception to your new social overlords, Cambridge.

If you or one of your friends is like a dwarf planet in this solar system of well, really big names, then fear not. Our TOP 11 – 50 BNOCs will be released on Monday.