The Edinburgh alumni Hall of Fame

Imagine them in your tutorial


If you’ve read any Tab articles in the past year, you’ll know that Edinburgh is one of the best universities in the world. What you may be less aware of is that we also have a star-studded cast of alumni. Listen up ladies and gents, this could be you one day.

At the forefront of this walk of fame is Pippa Middleton, sister of Kate and socialite with her own Waitrose column! During her time here she studied English Lit and lived in Newtown where she made sushi with her two castle-owning aristocrat flat mates.

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Following in her illustrious footsteps is former Geography student and one of the longest-term stars of Made In Chelsea, Louise Thompson. Best known for her “gap yah” voice and multiple on-screen relationships, she’s also released a jeans line, Pocket London.

But, despite what the Daily Mail would have us think, Edinburgh does not just specialise in socialites; Edi graduate David Hume is best known for his 18th Century Enlightenment philosophy. Either that, or his lucky big toe and traffic cone hat.

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Next on the list we have former Labour PM and History graduate Gordon Brown, who was accepted to study at Edinburgh when he was only 16 and spent his first year in Ewing House. While at university, he dated Crown Princess Margareta of Romania.

As was this guy. Good old gurning Gord.

As was this guy. Good old gurning Gord.

Not only was Potterow the (alleged) inspiration for the name Harry Potter, but Hagrid himself, or Robbie Coltrane also attended the uni, studying art. Voted 6th most famous Scot after the Loch Ness Monster, he’s made a giant success of himself.

The second most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time, Sir Chris Hoy, is also one of us, having studied Applied Sports Science from 1996-99 – you may have noticed the two post-boxes painted gold in his honour in Hunter Square and Hanover Street. Hoy has also written two children’s books about a cyclist called Flying Fergus.

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Also a multi-talented alumnus, English graduate Dame Stella Rimington is both the first ever female Director General of MI5 and a successful spy novelist. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle studied medicine, basing his most famous character, Sherlock Holmes, on his former university tutor.

Last but not least, when you’re writing your next essay and trying to make up the word count, remember that you also have Edinburgh to thank for the thesaurus; its creator, Peter Mark Roget, studied here.