Nottingham’s Best and Worst Alumni

Sitting in Hallward, three Red Bulls in and with 3,000 words in for tomorrow, life might look pretty bleak. It may seem like you’ll never finish the pointless essay you […]


Sitting in Hallward, three Red Bulls in and with 3,000 words in for tomorrow, life might look pretty bleak.

It may seem like you’ll never finish the pointless essay you were set. You may feel the only thing you have to live for is the brief smoking break you get between hours of procrastination. But fear not! There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it comes in the form of Nottingham University Alumni – proof that it will all pay off in the end.

 

The Best

 

Sir John Sawers: head of the MI6. Studied physics and philosophy from 1973-1977. In July 2010 his salary was revealed to be £169,999, so not doing too badly for himself. The VKs are on you John!

 

Dr Stewart Adams OBE: Pharmacologist, created the painkiller Ibuprofen. Studied Pharmacy from 1941-1945. The ultimate student hero, this man has saved us from many a hangover. Stew, we salute you.

 

Deng Yaping: Former international table tennis champion. Studied Contemporary Chinese Studies in 2002. Voted Chinese Sports Personality of the Century. Yes, not just the year, an entire century. Must be doing something right!

 

Professor Ian Wilmut: Embryologist who managed the team who cloned Dolly the sheep. Studied Agriculture from 1962-1965. The beautiful story of a man and his sheep. Inspirational.

 

Peter Rice: President, Fox Searchlight Pictures. Studied American and Canadian Studies from 1986-1989. Fox Searchlight Pictures are responsible for films such as Slumdog Millionaire, Juno and Napolean Dynamite. In other words, the man’s a legend.

 

Sadly legendary status is not the case for everyone. As Shakespeare once noted: ‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.’ Then there’s this lot.

Behold, five of Nottingham University’s greatest disappointments.

 

The Worst

 

Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson: Judge on Australian Idol. Studied Politics from 1981-1984. Although we’re proud he’s made it on such a popular programme, he’s annoyed a great deal of the Australian public for his controversial comments on a female contestant’s weight. Not cool man.

 

 

Tim Martin: founder and chairman of JD Wetherspoon Studied law from 1972-1975.  We were unsure whether to put Tim in the best or worst list, but ultimately decided his pubs have caused far more regrets and drunken mishaps then we’d like to admit. So apologies mate, you’re not in our good books.

 

Jim Hood MP: The Labour  MP for Lanark and Hamilton East was embroiled in the MP’s expenses scandal. He claimed up to £1,000 a month for services and maintenance on his second home in London, including £400 on food. We wouldn’t have guessed…

 

Saira Khan: entrepreneur and apprentice runner up. Studied Environmental Planning 1990-1993. Describes herself as a ‘motivational and inspirational speaker’ yet we seem to only remember her incessant talking on the show as incredibly annoying. Plus, she didn’t even win. Shame on you Saira.

 

Kweku Adoboli: Studied computer science and management from 2000-2003. Possibly Nottingham’s most disastrous alumni, this fraudster lost the Swiss bank UBS an estimated £1.4 billion. On 20 November 2012 he was found guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison. What a tool.