Famous BCU Alumni

From big name actors to the founding members of the best band of the 80s, Birmingham City University is brimming over with famous alumni. Ready? Let’s dive in.

Nicola Coughlan

Nicola graduated from our Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s School of Acting. From there, she became best known as Clare Devlin in Derry Girls, and most recently the lovelorn Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton.

Catherine Tyldesley

Our own Strictly star and best known for her time on Coronation Street as Eva Price, Catherine Tyldesley also attended our Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s School of Acting. Did you know that she released an album in 2016?

Frank Skinner

Frank Skinner studied English at Birmingham Polytechnic (now BCU) before becoming a household comedy name, winning Best Comedy Entertainment Personality at the 2001 British Comedy Awards. In 2006 Frank also received an honorary degree from us!

Laura Mvula

Born and bred a Brummie, Laura Mvula graduated from our Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with a degree in composition. She then went on to win Best Female Act at the 2013 MOBO Awards.

Jonnie Irwin

After graduating from BCU with a degree in Estate Management, Jonnie went on to present A Place in the Sun, as well as Escape to the Country. Jonnie was also awarded an honorary doctorate from us in 2013.

Rhydian Roberts

Before finishing second on the fourth series of X Factor, Rhydian Roberts attended the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Famed for his platinum hair and big voice, Rhydian now frequently pops up in pantomimes and musical theatre.

Rob Mallard

A Corrie stalwart since 2016, Rob Mallard was a School of Acting student before he became Daniel Osbourne. He joined fellow School of Acting alumna Catherine Tyldesley on the show!

Lily Pebbles

Lily started her (now famous) blog in 2010 at university while she was studying Marketing, Advertising and PR. Started as a beauty blog, Lily now has 484k subscribers on YouTube, covering all sorts of lifestyle, home and parenting content.

Dhafer L’Abidine

After graduating from Birmingham School of Acting, Dhafer went on to parts in Children of Men, The DaVinci Code and Sex and the City 2, before becoming famous in his home of Tunisia – he has over 4 million followers on Instagram!

John Taylor

John Taylor met fellow founding member of Duran Duran, Stephen Duffy, at the School of Foundation Studies & Experimental Workshop Birmingham Polytechnic (now Birmingham City University). He plays bass for arguably the best band of the 80s – of course they were a Brummie export.

Danielle Pinnock

Danielle attended our Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and completed her MA in Acting in 2013. Since then, she’s won awards for her acting and writing, as well as guest starring in episodes of This Is Us and Scandal. Most notably, she has starred in the comedy Young Sheldon.

Marverine Cole

Marverine is currently the Director of the BA (Hons) Journalism course at Birmingham City University, but before she became staff, she studied here for a Postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism. As well as presenting and reporting on Sky News, ITV News and BBC Midlands Today, Marverine also runs a popular beer blog, Beer Beauty.

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