Are you thinking of going to the University of Leeds and finding whose footsteps you may be following? Are you simply curious about the students who have been and gone and made success? From athletes to critically acclaimed movie stars, this list of Leeds alumni have made a lasting impression and should inspire you to finally get those grades and make big success.
1. Chris Pine
Despite only studying at Leeds for a year, being an exchange student, Chris Pine has become a notable name around campus. Now starring in hit blockbuster movies such as ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Star Trek’, his fame attracts people to the University. An ex-Leeds student spotted flags bearing his face, and red-carpet photos of him dotted around campus, and it comes as no surprise.
2. Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee
The Brownlee brothers, both Triathlon World Champions, studied at the University of Leeds. Alistair dropped out of Cambridge, where he was studying medicine to study Sports Science and Physiology at Leeds, and Jonathan studied History. They have had extremely impressive careers and continue to inspire sportsmen and women who study at the University.
3. Jamie Laing
Best known for his role in E4’s ‘Made in Chelsea’, Jamie Laing came to the University of Leeds because he’d ‘fallen in love with a girl and followed her there’, as he admits in an interview. Since graduating, he has been back for nights out and even made an appearance in Central Village.
4. Corinne Bailey-Rae
This Grammy-nominated singer studied English Literature at the University of Leeds in 2000. She earned some extra cash working at LS6, then known as the Clock Café, before launching her solo music career. Some of her best-known songs include ‘Like a Star’ and ‘Put Your Records On’.
5. Dan Smith
Smith is the lead singer, songwriter and founder of the British band Bastille. The band gained popularity after releasing their hit song ‘Pompeii’ in 2013 and have since released two more albums. Before his musical days, Dan studied English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds alongside writing about music and film for the student newspaper.
6. Mark Knopfler
Graduating with a degree in English at the University of Leeds, Mark went on to become the lead guitarist, singer and songwriter of the ‘Dire Straits’. He left the band in 1987 and went on to pursue a solo music career, but the band’s legacy still lives on, with one of their famous songs, ‘Sultans of Swing’ still resonating with music lovers today.
7. Emma Crosby
The British television newsreader and broadcaster originally studied drama, theatre, film and television at the University of Leeds alongside taking an internship at ITN. Since University, Crosby has presented on ‘Sunrise’, ‘GMTV’ and ‘BBC news’, making for a very impressive career.
8. Col Needham
You may not recognise the name, but Col Needham is the founder and CEO of IMDb: the online database that lists information about movies, TV and everything in between. Not surprisingly, Needham studied Computer Science at Leeds in 1988 before starting up IMDb in 1990.
9. Jacqui Oatley
Best known for being the first female commentator on the flagship BBC One ‘Match of the Day’, Oatley’s career also includes hosting darts for ITV sport. Despite studying German at University in 1996, Oatley quickly decided that this wasn’t the path for her and went on to study print journalism and radio production, accelerating her into broadcasting.
10. Robin Skelton
In his lifetime, Skelton was the author of more than 100 books. These included not just poetry but novels, short stories and scholarly works. Skelton obtained a first-class honours degree at Leeds University before emigrating to Canada, where he enjoyed the role of ‘unofficial poet laureate’.