Michael Aris (History, 1967)
was a leading Western author on Bhutanese, Tibetan and Himalayan culture and wrote numerous books on Buddhism. He was married to Burmese opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi. He spent six years as the private tutor of the children of the royal family of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, and later became a lecturer in Asian history at Oxford.
Professor Ronald Barnett (Combined Arts, 1970)
is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. He is a recognized authority on the conceptual and theoretical understanding of the university and higher education. He is currently completing a trilogy of books attempting systematically to offer a sense as to what it is to understand this extraordinary institution we call 'university'.
Dr Isobel Maddison (English, 1997)
is director of English and Vice President at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. She has written several books and articles focused around female modernism, women's writing of the First World War and especially 'middlebrow' novels in the period 1890-1940.
Dr David Parsons, FSA (German, 1959)
continued after graduation as a post-graduate student in Archaeology, and was awarded the British Archaeological Association’s Reginald Taylor prize in 1974. He is Emeritus Reader in Church Archaeology in the University of Leicester and after retirement became an associate tutor at the University of Sussex. His definitive study of the archaeology of the Anglo-Saxon church at Brixworth, Northamptonshire, was published in 2013.
John Joseph Wilkes, FBA, FSA (Archaeology, 1962)
is a British archaeologist and academic. He is Emeritus Yates Professor of Greek and Roman Archaeology at University College London. He was also Chairman of the Faculty of Archaeology, History and Letters at the British School at Rome between 1979 and 1983, and editor of the academic journal Britannia from 1980 to 1984.
Professor Frank Webster (Sociology, 1974)
is Professor of Sociology at City University, University of London. He has written extensively on information developments and information society issues, and undertaken research at the OII in the area of democratisation and new media.
was a British barrister, law lecturer at Durham, tutor in the Society and the author of The Commonwealth Public Service. He was the father of Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Martin Sheedy (Anthropology & Psychology, 1975)
is a senior lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University. After practising for twelve years as a statutory field social worker before becoming Subject Manager of Social Work at the Liverpool Community College where he directed Social Work Programmes for 10 years before commencing at Liverpool John Moores.
Tariq Modood (Philosophy & Politics, 1974)
is Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy at the University of Bristol and founding Director of the University's Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship. In July 2017, Tariq was elected Fellow of the British Academy, the national academy for the humanities and social sciences.
Actors & Actresses
Matthew Barber (Classical Studies and Philosophy, 2005)
went on to study at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School after leaving Durham, before making his professional debut as Freddie Eynsford-Hill in Peter Hall's Pygmalion, working alongside Kevin Spacey. Matt has worked extensively in theatre, film and television; you might recognise him from the BBC's Being Human, NBC's Dracula or ITV's Downton Abbey.
Andrew Buchan (Modern Languages, 2001)
studied at RADA after Durham, and has enjoyed a hugely successful acting career with, among his credits, starring roles in Broadchurch, Garrow’s Law, The Fixer and C4’s The Honourable Woman. His career in television began in 2006 when he appeared as the vicar, St John Rivers, in the 2006 Jane Eyre and then as the regular character Scott Foster in the political drama Party Animals.
Charlotte Riley (English Language and Linguistics, 2003)
went on to study at LAMDA after graduating from Durham, and has previously starred in productions such as Wuthering Heights, The Take and Edge of Tomorrow, in which she worked alongside Tom Cruise. In 2014 she appeared as May Carleton in BBC2's period gangster drama Peaky Blinders.
Arts and Literature
Russell Ash (Geography & Anthropology, 1967)
was the author of the Top 10 of Everything series of books, as well as Great Wonders of the World, Incredible Comparisons. He wrote for both adults and children on a diverse range of subjects, including reference, art, history, biography and humour.
Rod Clements (1969)
is a British guitarist, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He formed the folk-rock band Lindisfarne in 1970, and wrote "Meet Me on the Corner", a UK Top 5 hit in March 1972, which won Clements an Ivor Novello Award.
Justin Hill (English Language & Linguistics, 1992)
is a novelist whose work has been nominated three times for the Man Booker Prize. His internationally acclaimed first novel, The Drink and Dream Teahouse, won the 2003 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and a 2002 Betty Trask Award, and was also banned by the government in China.His novel Shieldwall was chosen by The Sunday Times as a Book of the Year. His work appears in translation in fifteen different languages.
Anthony Payne (Music, 1961)
is a composer and Elgar specialist whose won the Chamber category of the 2011 British Composer Awards for his String Quartet No. 2. He has been comissioned to compose by The English Chamber Orchestra and the Nash Ensemble, and has had work premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at The Proms in London.
Christopher Somerville (English, 1971)
has 25 years experience as a journalist and travel writer, writing and broadcasting about country walks, life in remote rural and island communities from Scotland to Crete by way of the Faroes, music-making in Irish pubs, festivals from Spain to Sweden, and is also a published poet.
Dan van der Vat (Classics, 1960)
was a newspaper journalist for nearly thirty years until he became an author full-time. He was the foreign correspondant at The Times for ten years, becoming the bureau chief in Germany. He has written fifteen books, largely focussed on naval history, and still writes for The Guardian.
Dr Anthony Peabody
is President of the International Banjo Circle. He has been a forensic scientist for 38 years, and has specialised in the diagnosis of death by drowning. The International Banjo Circle is dedicated to the promulgation and preservation of classical Banjo playing.
Alexander Talbot-Rice (Arabic with Islamic Studies, 1995)
is fast becoming one of the most sought-after portrait artists of his generation, having undertaken numerous commissions for the British Royal Family and other world leaders, in politics, fashion, art and culture. Commissions include HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HH The Pope Benedict XVI and Lady Margaret Thatcher. His portraits have received international recognition and adorn some of the most prestigious public and private collections in the world.
Graham Hancock (Sociology, 1973)
is a British writer and journalist. Hancock specialises in unconventional theories involving ancient civilisations, stone monuments or megaliths, altered states of consciousness, ancient myths and astronomical/astrological data from the past. His books include 'Lords of Poverty', 'The Sign and the Seal', 'Fingerprints of the Gods', 'Keeper of Genesis', 'The Mars Mystery', 'Heaven's Mirror', 'Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization', and 'Talisman: Sacred Cities, Secret Faith'.
Frank Jude (Russian, 1972)
translated The Complete Poems of Tyutchev into English following doctoral research into the work of the Russian poet.
Dan Boothby (Arabic & Spanish, 1996)
is an author of seven books to date focused on travel and living abroad. He has also sailed over 40,000 sea miles on long-distance, worldwide yacht deliveries (including ‘Pirate Alley’ in the Indian Ocean, and five interminable weeks in a 42ft yacht in the ‘Roaring Forties’ of the Southern Ocean).
Alastair Fothergill (Zoology, 1983)
is a producer of nature documentaries for television and cinema. He is the series producer of the multi-award winning series The Blue Planet (2001), Planet Earth (2006) and the co-director of the associated feature films Deep Blue and Earth. He has also presented several television programmes, including The Abyss, is the author of three books, and was awarded the "Clean Energy Award" by BMW in 2008.
Nina Hossain (English Language & Linguistics, 1995)
is a journalist and news presenter currently employed by ITN. She has presented on BBC London News, ITV news and London Tonight. At the end of the Duran Duran song “The Man Who Stole a Leopard”, she reads a fake news story, and also performs the voice of the satellite navigation on “Blame the Machines”, both from the band’s 2010 album All You Need Is Now.
Kevin Lygo (Psychology, 1980)
launched his television career as an entertainment scriptwriter at the BBC. He later became Head of Development for the BBC Entertainment Group before setting up the ICG (Independent Commissioning Group) within BBC Broadcasting, instigating programmes such as They Think It's All Over and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He went on to become Head of Entertainment for Channel 4, commissioning programmes such as Big Brother, The F Word and Richard and Judy.
Kate Silverton (Psychology, 1994)
is journalist currently employed by the BBC. She can be seen regularly presenting the BBC News at One, BBC News at Six, BBC News at Ten, and BBC Weekend News, as well as making appearances on the BBC News Channel and BBC World News
Joel Taylor (History, 1999)
is the deputy news editor at the Metro newspaper. He began his career in journalism at the Camden New Journal before moving over to the Metro.
Rupert Upshon (Geography, 1998)
is a journalist and is currently the Assistant Editor at BBC WM in the West Midlands. Upshon made the press himself in 2011 when he overturned a crown court's blanket restrictions on allowing reporters into bail hearings.
Simon Wilkinson (Geography, 1982)
spent 30 years of working at the top end of newspaper journalism, making him one of the UK's leading picture professionals. Having worked as deputy picture editor at The Sun, Simon left to set up his own agency, SWpix, which has since become one of the country’s leading independent picture agencies.
Anne Brogan (English, 1977)
founded Kindle Entertainment together with Melanie Stokes, having been the former controller of ITV Kids. Kindle Entertainment have twice won the Children’s BAFTA for Independent Production Company of the year.
Benjamin Woolley (Philosophy & Politics, 1979)
is an author, media journalist and television presenter who specialises in the often fraught relationship between the sciences and arts. His books include 'Savage Kingdom', 'The Queen's Conjuror', 'The Harbalist' and 'Bride of Science'. He has written and presented documentaries for the BBC on subjects ranging from the rise of Singapore to the end of the Space Age. His script for a documentary on the solar system for the Discovery Channel won an Emmy award.
Axel Threlfall (History, 1990)
is Editor-at-Large, Reuters, based in London. Alongside his editorial duties, he hosts high-profile engagements and thought leadership events for and on behalf of Reuters and Thomson Reuters, such as the Newsmaker series and the World Economic Forum news programs in Davos. He was previously Lead European Anchor for Reuters Digital Video. Prior to joining Reuters, Axel spent four years as an anchor for CNBC in London. Before that, he was an editor with The Wall Street Journal in New York and a news reporter for Bloomberg in London. Axel is frequently asked to moderate events for international organizations, including the United Nations and the OECD.
Politics & Business
Oswald 'Ossie' O'Brien (1969)
was a British and European Labour Co-operative politician committed to nuclear disarmament, equality and liberation politics. He was one of the shortest serving Members of Parliament, serving just 11 weeks and 1 day.
Dr Anthony Wells (History, 1979)
is the only living person to have worked for British Intelligence as a British citizen and for US Intelligence as an American citizen. He was the youngest ever Senior Lecturer and Tutor in uniform at the Royal Naval College Greenwich. In addition to professional books and articles he has also published two novels: Black Gold Finale; and The Golden Few.
Norman Askew (Geography, 1965)
is the former Chairman of IMI plc, Taylor Wimpey and the Board of Governors of Manchester University. He has extensive international experience as a CEO in the aerospace, automotive and power industries.
Dr Linda Ebbatson (Archaeology, 1987)
was leader of Chester-le-Street District Council in its last years before it was replaced by the new county-wide unity authority. She received an OBE for services to local government in 2010.
John Pugh (Philosophy, 1971)
is a Liberal Democrat politician and Member of Parliament for Southport. He was first elected in 2001, and was re-elected in 2005 and 2010. He has campaigning interests in public sector IT and mental health policy.
Michael Knighton (Philosophy, 2002)
is an English businessman, best known for his involvement in Manchester United and Carlisle United football clubs. Knighton first came to prominence in 1989 for his aborted £20 million bid to buy Manchester United, which resulted in him taking a seat on the club's board.
John Harrison (Maths, 1977)
served as a Partner of KPMG Hong Kong from 1987 to 2009. He is an expert in financial statements audit, assurance based advisory services, corporate governance and financial risk management.
Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile (Economics & Politics, 1974)
is a Ugandan economist and banker. He is the Governor of Bank of Uganda, the central bank of Uganda. As a student in 1972 he was forced to flee Uganda after he gave a speech publicly criticizing the expulsion of Asians from the country by Idi Amin. He fled to England, and completed his studies here in Durham.
James Clarke (Music, 2006)
was selected to join the GB rowing squad competed in the Junior World Rowing Championships in 2002 in the men's pair. His performance in the U23 World Rowing Championships elevated him to the senior GB squad at the World Rowing Championships where in 2006 James came home in fifth place but returned the next year to claim the gold.
Paul Kelly (Physics, 2005)
is a GB rower. He won a bronze medal in the World U23 Championships 2012 in a lightweight men's pair with fellow Cuth's alumnus James Clarke, and went on to pick up the silver medal for the same event in the following year.
James Shoulder (Sociology, 1973)
is a formal football manager and player. As a player he spent time at Scarborough, Sunderland and Hartlepool United. He was manager of the Australian national football team, and spent 10 years as manager of the Welsh Under-21s. He was director of football academy Shinzhon Town in China, coach of academy sheffield Wednesday and head coach of Singapore Armed Forces FC.
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