Covid heroes to BAFTA winners: Here’s all the famous people who went to uni in Notts

There must be something in the air


Take one look around Nottingham city centre and you’ll see the faces of the future. There have been a number of famous people to have graced the streets of Nottingham in years gone by. Just picture them all queuing for a drunk Maccie’s on Angel Row after getting absolutely smashed after a night in Rock City or Ocean.

To highlight just how great Notts is, we’ve pulled together a list of just a few of the people who attended uni here, whether that was Trent or UoN. Plus who knows, give it a couple of years and you could be in an updated version of this article:

Jonathan Van-Tam – UoN

One of the very few good things to come out of lockdown was this man. Straight talking and to the point, he always got straight to the point in a way that the non-epidemiologists could understand, often using sports metaphors. I’m sure back in the day you could catch him at a varsity sport match but nowadays he’s busy with his knighthood and advising the uni on how to be the best at medicine I think? Much like in Covid times, I don’t really understand.

Paul Joyce – NTU

I say “Bob the Builder”, you say “can we fix it?”. Yes, the creator of the beloved theme tune started his adult life in what was then Trent polytechnic. The theme tune went on to top the charts in the UK in 2000 – before lots of us were born. However, it’s proved timeless with many rebels shouting “no you can’t”.

Theo James – UoN

Oh what I’d give for Theo James to be wandering Nottingham nowadays. He did a philosophy degree which I hope proved useful in his work in Divergent. While he may be best known for the big screen, he started his acting career in Nottingham New Theatre like all the other future stars of Nottingham. He was cast in two films in his final year meanwhile I cannot even get through a lecture without taking a nap halfway through.

Sam Fell – NTU

You might not know the name, but you know one of the many films. Two words, four syllables: Flushed Away. I can’t explain to you what a major part of my first year this film was and anyone who knows me will know why. Little did I know the BAFTA nominated director was closer to home than I thought. There’s nothing like a posh rat becoming a sewer rat to teach kids about classism. Must’ve been all the Surrey people in his lectures that inspired him.

Ruth Wilson – UoN

Ruth is a classic case of a Surrey girl venturing “up north” for uni but boy were we glad to have her. Much like Theo James, Ruth spend her time honing her acting skills in Nottingham New Theatre which clearly produces stars. She has gone on to star on both the small and big screen with roles in Luther and Saving Mr Banks to name a few.

Tim Martin – UoN

I like to think that Tim Martin didn’t appreciate the cost of a pint and morning hangover scran in Notts and so came up with the wonderful idea of JD Wetherspoons. As the founder of the pub chain, we have him to thank for The Joseph Else and The Roebuck Inn and cheap pitchers. Tim Martin – on behalf of all broke uni students, I salute you.

Feature images via YouTube, Youtube and Youtube

Related articles recommended by this author

From Mega Munch to society boys: Here are six things guaranteed to happen on a Notts night out

These are all my favourite things about Nottingham as a final year

From Mega Munch to society boys: Here are six things guaranteed to happen on a Notts night out