Famous alumni

Tim Curry

The English actor and singer may spend most of his time these days in Los Angeles, but the Warrington-born entertainer continues to work on both sides of the Atlantic on big screen, small screen, and stage productions.

Why he is outstanding

After graduating from the University (BA Drama & Theatre Studies, 1968), Tim’s breakthrough role came playing Dr N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975. His other notable onscreen performances include playing the dancing clown, Pennywise, in the Stephen King-penned horror film It, Rooster in the film adaptation of Annie and Roger Corwin in the 2000 remake of Charlie’s Angels.

Tim’s recent performances include roles opposite Bill Bailey and Simon Pegg in gruesome grave robbing black comedy Burke and Hare (2010) and as Signor Brunoni in period drama, Cranford (2009).

Did you know?

Tim is often nicknamed ‘The Cheshire Cat’ on account of his childhood roots and well-known grin.

Tamsin Greig

Tamsin graduated from Birmingham with a BA in Drama and Theatre Arts in 1988.

Why she is outstanding

Performances in cult comedies Black Books and Green Wing made the award-winning actress a household name. Her acting credits range from from The Lenny Henry Show to The Diary of Anne Frank, Jane Austen’s Emma, People Like Us, Dr Who and Love Soup and she is the sultry voice of Debbie Aldridge in Radio 4’s The Archers.

In 2006, Tamsin returned to the stage after a long absence, winning an Olivier and London Critics’ Award for her role as Beatrice in the RSC’s Much Ado About Nothing. She has also appeared in the West End production of God of Carnage and the National Theatre’s production of Gethsemane, a new play by David Hare which also toured. In early 2010 she played the lead in The Little Dog Laughed at The Garrick Theatre in London.

Did you know?

Before becoming an actress, Tamsin was an administrator for the Family Planning Association.

Amanda Ross

Often described as one of the most powerful women in publishing, Amanda Ross graduated from Birmingham in 1984 with a BA in Drama and Theatre Arts

Photo of Drama alumna Amanda Ross

Why she is outstanding

Amanda has brought reading to the masses through television book clubs. As Managing Director of Cactus TV, she was the driving force behind the Richard and Judy Book Club and created the TV Book Club for Channel 4.

In 2009, she received The Bookseller Retail Award for Outstanding Contribution to Bookselling. Judges felt she deserved industry recognition for delivering a £185 million boost to the trade, creating at least 50 bestsellers, for raising the profile of countless authors and for championing reading as a pastime for all.

Founded by Amanda and her husband Simon in 1994, Cactus TV specialises in entertainment, features and chat shows, producing more than 40 television programmes including Saturday Kitchen on BBC1, The TV Book Club on More 4, the Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of Britain on BBC2, and the Crime Thriller Season on ITV3. 

Did you know?

Amanda is married to Simon Ross, brother of Jonathan and Paul.

Victoria Wood CBE

One of countless alumni who have achieved national fame after completing the University’s highly-respected Drama and Theatre Arts degree, Victoria Wood CBE is considered one of the UK’s most successful female comedy writer, actress, and performers of the last 40 years.

Why she was outstanding

A highly-accomplished pianist and sketch writer, Victoria established her reputation as a natural entertainer early in her career, making music and comedy a strong characteristic of her onstage performances.

Victoria’s career in television began while she was an undergraduate at the University in the 1970s and she quickly rose to national attention after appearing on TV talent show New Faces and That’s Life. Since establishing her reputation as a writer and performer of craft and longevity, she continued to work with some of the biggest names of her generation, including Julie Walters, Patricia Routledge and Celia Imrie.

Did you know?

Victoria once claimed she would retire at 50 but her popularity continued to span generations. A guest appearance in the 2005 The League of Gentlemen Apocalypse film is just one example of how she continued to appeal to younger audiences.