Which Famous People Have Studied At The University Of East Anglia?
34th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival – Talking Pictures Screening "Living"
Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Society

The Famous Faces That Have Studied At The University Of East Anglia

Vincent Ralph March 6, 2023

The University of East Anglia has one of the best creative writing programs in the UK. So it is no surprise that, among its famous alumni, is one of our greatest living authors, and a comedy writer who went on to create some wonderful children books. Here are just a few of the famous people to have come through the doors of UEA.

First up, we have the legendary author, Kazuo Ishiguro. The Nobel Prize-winning writer graduated from the University of East Anglia‘s Creative Writing MA program in 1980. Ishiguro’s novel The Remains of the Day is widely considered a literary masterpiece, and was even adapted into a movie starring Anthony Hopkins. He has also wrote several other highly acclaimed books, including Never Let Me Go and An Artist of the Floating World. Ishiguro’s writing style is known for its quiet elegance and emotional depth, and he is often praised for his ability to explore complex themes with subtlety and nuance. His most recent book – Klara And The Sun – is a Sunday Times Book of the Year and has earned the beloved author even more fans. Of all the famous people to have studied at the University of East Anglia, Ishiguro is a bona fide legend.

Next on our list of famous alumni is comedian Charlie Higson. Best known for his work on the sketch comedy show The Fast Show, Higson actually started out as a writer. He studied English and American Literature at UEA, and even contributed to the university’s student newspaper during his time there. Higson’s impressive career has also included stints as an actor, producer, and children’s author. He has written a number of successful young adult books, including the popular Young Bond series.

Photo by Drew Farrell/Avalon/Getty Images

UEA isn’t all about creative writing. Next on our list is scientist Richard Catlow. Catlow received his PhD in Chemistry from UEA in 1971, and has since become one of the world’s leading experts on solid state chemistry and materials science. He has published over 900 scientific papers, and has received numerous awards and honors for his groundbreaking research. Catlow is also a Fellow of the Royal Society, which is one of the highest scientific accolades in the UK.

Graduate job info: The Best Websites For Graduate Jobs

Our next famous alumni is the incredible composer Rachel Portman. Portman studied music at UEA, where she was mentored by the renowned composer Peter Tranchell. She has composed scores for dozens of films, including The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, and Emma. Portman has won an Academy Award for her work on Emma, making her one of only a handful of female composers to receive this prestigious honor. She is known for her ability to create music that perfectly captures the emotional tone of a film, and her work is always in high demand among Hollywood’s top directors.

Last but not least, we have the journalist Nick Davies. Davies studied English Literature at UEA, and began his career as a reporter for the Birmingham Post. He later joined The Guardian, where he became one of the paper’s most respected investigative journalists. Davies is perhaps best known for his work exposing the phone hacking scandal that rocked the UK’s media industry in the early 2010s. His book Hack Attack chronicles his efforts to uncover the truth behind the scandal, and has been praised for its meticulous research and compelling storytelling.

That is just a handful of the famous people to have studied at the University of East Anglia. Who knows, one day you could join them?

Related: Who Are The Famous Alumni Of Oxford?

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Vincent Ralph is Senior Managing Editor at GRV Media. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Greenwich and later completed his NCTJ in Newspaper and Magazine Journalism while studying in Cornwall. He was previously Head of Sixth Form at a secondary school in Kent, where he worked with hundreds of 16 to 19-year-olds over eight years. He joined GRV Media in 2014, working his way up from football writer to a senior member of staff. After two years as Managing Editor of Rousing The Kop and The Boot Room he became Senior Managing Editor of new student website Freshered. Vincent is a two-time New York Times bestselling author and his second novel is also a USA Today bestseller and the winner of the Southern Schools Book Award.