Who are some of the most famous alumni from UEA?

Matt Smith_Paul Whitehouse

Matt Smith and Paul Whitehouse are both some of the famous alumni to come from UEA. - Credit: PA

The University of East Anglia (UEA) has been educating students since 1963, but who are some of the most famous alumni to have attended? 

Matt Smith


File photo dated 15/3/2013 of Matt Smith, who will join three other stars who have taken the lead ro

Matt Smith - Credit: PA

Some of you may know him as the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor in the BBC show Doctor Who or you may recognise him as Prince Philip from the Netflix series The Crown.  

Smith studied drama and creative writing at the university and graduated in 2005.  

John Rhys-Davies 

Actor John Rhys-Davies arrives for the premiere of his film, 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of t

John Rhys-Davies - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

John Rhys-Davies is a Welsh actor who was one of the first 105 students admitted to UEA, at university he also founded the Dramatic Society.  

He has appeared in the Lord of the Rings trilogy as Gimli and in the Indiana Jones films. Rhys-Davies has certainly been busy since leaving UEA as he has 271 acting credits listed on his IMDb profile.  

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Greg James 

The Lord Mayor of Norwich Judith Lubbock on the Greg James Radio 1 show at OPEN.Picture: ANTONY KE

Greg James - Credit: Anthony Kelly

Greg James is a television presenter, narrator and author but he will be most known for being the host of Radio 1 Breakfast.  

James studied drama at UEA but during his degree, he presented several shows on the students’ union radio station called Livewire 1350AM before becoming the station manager in 2006. He went on to graduate in 2007.  

Gurinder Chadha OBE 

Gurinder Chadha at the UEA to receive an honorary degree. Picture: Denise Bradley

Gurinder Chadha - Credit: Denise Bradley

Gurinder Chadha is a British film director. You may have heard of some of her most popular films, such as Bend It Like Beckham or Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.  

Chadha began her media career in the 1980s after graduating from UEA with a degree in development studies in 1983.  

Gareth Malone OBE 

Gareth Malone poses for media after presenting a cheque in central London, to the Royal British Legi

Gareth Malone - Credit: PA

Gareth Malone is a choirmaster and broadcaster, he attended UEA to study drama and graduated in 1997. He was in the university choir and composed music for theatre productions.  

He first appeared on BBC Two back in 2007 with his reality show The Choir, it kick-started his television career with more shows such as The Big Performance and The Choir: Military Wives. He even picked up an International Emmy Award on the way for Best Arts Programme.  

Paul Whitehouse 

Embargoed to 0001 Monday August 17 File photo dated 31/1/2019 of Paul Whitehouse who has said life w

Paul Whitehouse - Credit: PA

Paul Whitehouse is an actor, writer and comedian. He is known for being one of the main stars of the BBC sketch comedy series The Fast Show as well as starring in shows alongside Harry Enfield.  

Whitehouse attended UEA with fellow actor and comedian Charlie Higson from 1976. The pair studied English & American Literature. However, Whitehouse dropped out after first year.  

Nina Conti 

Nina Conti attends the British Comedy Awards at Fountain Studios in Wembley, north London.

Nina Conti - Credit: PA

Nina Conti is an actress, comedian and ventriloquist. She graduated from UEA in 1995 with a first-class honours degree in philosophy.  

Her television career started in 2002 with roles in Black Books and Holby City. It was in the same year that Conti won the BBC New Comedy Awards.  

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