Gower Street’s Worst?

Are Coldplay the worst thing we’ve ever produced?


University College London has produced hundreds, if not thousands of graduates who have gone on to achieve greatness in the arts, science, politics, law and sport, to name just a few fields in which past students have excelled.

But buried within the mists of time there are plenty of not so brilliant students who have passed through the doors of the Chadwick Building and the Cruciform. They may have gone on to become famous, but it’s for all the wrong reasons.

This friday and next The Tab will be looking at the best and the worst of UCL’s alumni, starting with the worst. Have your say by voting in the poll.


Malcolm Grant

Ok, so he’s not a former student but he is our outgoing provost so it would be unfair to exclude him on those grounds alone. Where to start? Crimes against fashion is probably a good one, clearly nobody dared tell him that he can’t pull off the Ron Burgundy look.

Supporting a hike in fees to £9,000 a year is also up there, as well as supporting moves to throw a lot of poor Eastenders out of their homes on Newham estate.

On the other hand he has bumped us up the rankings quite a lot and he’s only a boring academic anyway. UCL’s worst ? Not by a long shot in our books, but there’s a case.


Every member of Coldplay

It would have been unfair to include Chris Martin without including his bandmates. It took a look at Wikipedia to figure out who they actually are, (Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion, in case you cared), but they all merit their place. These lads couldn’t even do rock and roll properly, so goodness knows how they graduated.

Chris Martin doesn’t smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol and in 2005 was declared the “World’s Most Sexy Vegetarian”. (Buckland apparently was a veggie until he ate beef and discovered he liked it. So he can’t even manage to be a proper veggie).

Somewhere along the line Chris got the wrong end of the stick about what being a musician actually involves. Then he went and named his daughter after a fruit. Not even an exotic fruit.

And the music’s awful. There’s a pretty good case for these boys being the worst we’ve produced. The worst at rock and roll certainly.


Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (The ‘Underpants Bomber’)

Ok, we’ll admit it. This guy probably is the worst UCL graduate ever (and we didn’t even include the other convicted terrorist). Some of the others are’t flavour of the month but they haven’t actually tried to blow up a plane with a bomb sewn into their underpants. Enough said really.



A. A. Gill

Gill isn’t anywhere near the territory of terrorism, although you might not be so well disposed to him if you were a baboon. Gill killed a baboon to “get a sense of what it might be like to kill someone”. Lovely.

You might not be too keen on him if you’re one of the people Gill describes as “loquacious, dissemblers, immoral liars, stunted, bigoted, dark, ugly, pugnacious little trolls”. Or Welsh, as normal people would describe you.  Can’t see Jeremy Bentham approving of this fella.




 Peter Williams and Robert Shaw: Founders of Jack Wills

Killing a baboon and saying nasty things about the Welsh can only be followed up by the sheer awfulness of founding Jack Wills. Unfortuntately we have two UCL grads to thank for wannabe collegiate types flouncing around in sweatpants and ridiculously overpriced

sartorial sweaters. It’s as if this pair thought we weren’t suffering enough from the “where did daddy send you to school” set. Thanks a bunch guys.