Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Cambridge has most celebrity alumni

Rachel Weisz was one of a number of celebs who studied at Cambridge

Rachel Weisz and Sir Ian McKellen have helped Cambridge come out top of a poll of universities with the most celebrity alumni.

The world-famous institution has educated prime ministers, politicians, scientists and statesmen, but research reveals that it has also produced its fair share of Hollywood stars.

Burger King has released an alternative league table which ranks institutions according to the number of celebrities they count among their former students.

Cambridge boasts 30 celebrity alumni in all, with stars such as actors Hugh Laurie and Sacha Baron Cohen and actress Thandie Newton.

The university beat its historical rival Oxford which boasts 15 celebrity former students, including actors Hugh Grant and Richard Curtis, actor/explorer Michael Palin and actress Rosamund Pike.

Manchester University came third with alumni including scientist Brian Cox, Sherlock Holmes actor Benedict Cumberbatch and musicians the Chemical Brothers.

Other notables in the top 10 include Exeter with Harry Potter author JK Rowling and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

Bristol does well on the comedy front, educating Little Britain stars David Walliams and Matt Lucas. Shaun Of The Dead star Simon Pegg also studied at the university.

The criteria used to define celebrities is those household personalities currently living and working in showbusiness and entertainment who finished their undergraduate courses.

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