Notable Alumni

Our alumni profiles show the many paths that former King’s pupils have taken. They act to inspire our current pupils and recent graduates who are just embarking on their professional lives. If you have an interesting story to tell us, get in touch. We’d love to hear about your life after King’s.

  • Profiles

    Ben McLannahan

    U.S. Banking Editor - Financial Times
    NY via Tokyo, HK, London

    Ben McLannahan is the US Banking Editor for the Financial Times. He studied English at Cambridge University and joined the FT in 2007, after stints at the Economist Group and Institutional Investor. Prior to his current role McLannahan served as US financial correspondent on the title. He has previously covers markets and economics for the FT from Tokyo, and before that he wrote Lex notes from London and Hong Kong.

    "I'm looking forward to returning to my alma mater at some point in the future and helping to inspire a new generation of journalists in an era of rapid Political, Economic, Social and Technological change".

    Tarek El-Assra

    Partner at Morgan Lewis
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Tarek El-Assra's practice covers conventional and Islamic finance, including general banking and finance, leveraged and acquisition, asset (aircraft and ships), real estate, trade, infrastructure and projects, and restructurings and work-outs. He advises borrowers and lenders and has more than a decade of experience working throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, and Europe, where he has represented a number of major financial institutions, corporates, private equity investors, project sponsors, and family offices. Tarek is fluent in Arabic and English and has been based in Dubai since 2006. He has been listed in Chambers Global and IFLR1000 as a leading lawyer. In addition Legal 500 EMEA and Islamic Finance News have recognized him for his service to clients.

    "I'm very interested to help where I can and give something back to my School."

    Olivia Whitlam

    Corporate Citizenship Manager at Siemens and former Olympian Rower
    Manchester, United Kingdom

    Olivia Whitlam is a former Olympic rower from Daresbury, near Warrington. Paired with Heather Stanning, she became the Under-23 World Champion in 2007. She competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics with new partner Louisa Reeve, paired together only three months before the games began. As the newest pair on the 2008 British Olympic Rowing team, they were uncertain what their expectations should be, but Olivia and Louisa surprised everyone by placing third in their heat, holding off a strong challenge by the Americans. They then made the final by placing second in the Repechage ahead of Australia and France. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she competed as part of the GB women's eight.

    At present, Olivia is responsible for planning and implementing the Corporate Social Reasonability (CSR) activities for Siemens across the UK & Ireland. In 2015, Siemen's Curiosity Project alone created £14million of social value to young people in terms of skills, qualifications and personal wellbeing development

    "Weaving responsibility for our surroundings into the fabric of a business is a fervent interest of mine. I believe it is crucial that we engage with the young decision makers of tomorrow in the sustainability decisions of today and that is why I am so keen to collaborate with King's and inspire its current pupils."

    "Studying at King's was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The School's nurturing environment allowed me to make the most of my individual strengths and achieve not just academically but at World and Olympic level"

    Millie Diamond

    Marketing and Communications Manager at Leesman
    London, United Kingdom

    At only 26 years of age, Millie Diamond has already forged a particularly successful career within the UK's Marketing, Advertising and PR sector.

    Currently employed by Leesman Ltd a boutique consulting firm based in the heart of London, Millie is responsible for the developing and implementing a rock-solid marketing strategy to help secure the company's position as the world's leading authority on workplace effectiveness.

    Millie graduated from Newcastle University in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in Classics. She has held roles at a number of London-based Marketing firms including a two year stint at Time Inc. UK, Britain's leading publisher of print and digital magazine content. With more than 60 iconic brands - including Decanter, Country Life, Horse & Hound, Marie Claire, Look and Wallpaper*

    "I've made friends for life at King's and although we are all very spread out now, we still have very close relationships and continue to meet up with each other."

    Dr Antony Lighten

    Medical Expert and Leader in the fertility field.
    Sydney, Australia

    Dr Antony Lighten graduated from Cambridge University Medical School and gained a PhD at Imperial College in London. He completed his Specialist training in London and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist. Further studies at the Oxford University Fertility Unit led to him completing Sub-Specialist training in Reproductive Medicine.

    Antony now practices as a Fertility Specialist in Sydney, Australia. He specialises in medical and surgical treatments to improve the chance of conception. These include fertility surgery and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). His main area of interest is IVF with genetic screening of embryos (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or PGD) to improve the chance of success but also to reduce the transmission of genetic conditions.

    Antony was a keen rower at King's. After leaving, he represented both the University of London and Cambridge University. He was in the 1990 Goldie crew (the Cambridge University Reserve Crew).

    The school CCF (RAF Section), also led to a parallel career as a Regimental Medical officer in the Territorial Army before he moved abroad. Antony served for 12 years with the Parachute Regiment (10 PARA and 4 PARA) and the UK Special Forces Reserve (21 SAS).

    "On my recent visit back to The King's School Chester Rowing Club in 2015, I was delighted to discover the pair, 'Antony Lighten', was still afloat. Rowing has been such a large part of my life, through School, University and beyond. I am pleased that I am able to maintain a connection with my crewmates despite moving abroad. I am also very grateful for the unforeseen opportunities that rowing has given me."

    Campbell Oswald

    Head of Deloitte Global Employer Services, Switzerland
    Zürich, Switzerland

    Campbell joined King's junior school and stayed until completing his O levels in 1986, at which point his family moved away from the area. Campbell was heavily involved in team sport at the school with particular focus on football and cricket. His love of sport resulted in him choosing to study at Loughborough University and he remains a keen club hockey player.

    Campbell has been a Tax Partner with Deloitte since 2006. For the last four years he has been working in Switzerland where he leads the Global Employer Services Practice. He specialises in Global Mobility where he supports multi-national companies moving employees around the world. He advises on tax, social security and international HR policy matters. Campbell has over 20 years of experience with Deloitte in the UK, Canada and Switzerland and has worked with many companies across a broad range of industries during his career. Campbell is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

    "I really enjoyed my time at school in Chester. In particular I loved playing in the sports teams through which I made lots of great friendships that remain strong to this day. During my time at King's I learnt that success is built on lots of hard work and from the strength of the relationships that you build. I am very happy to help where I can and to give something back to my School."

    Stephen Peel

    Founder at SMP Policy Innovation Limited, Investor and Philanthropist
    Hong Kong, China

    Stephen is the founder of SMP Policy Innovation Limited, a non-for-profit organization aiming to promote, design and assist advanced government policy. Stephen now dedicates himself to policy and philanthropic activities after recently stepping down from a successful 25-year career in the global private equity industry.

    From 1997-2014, Stephen was a managing partner at one of the world's largest global private investment firms, TPG Capital, most recently heading up the firm's activities across Asia and Eastern Europe. He was one of the early partners of TPG Capital, a founder of its European office in 1997 and head of Europe from 1997-2008. He was part of the leadership team that grew the firm from some $3 billion of assets under management to over $60 billion. During his investment career, he had experience investing, managing, growing and turning around substantial businesses in over 15 different countries.

    Prior to TPG Capital, Stephen was in the Principal Investment Area of Goldman Sachs from 1989 to 1997.

    Stephen received his BA and MA from Cambridge University in 1987 and represented Great Britain in the Olympic Games in 1988. He received a Master of Advanced Studies from the Jackson Institute of Global Affairs at Yale University in 2015. Stephen serves or has served on Boards of Directors including: China Grand Automotive Services Co., Ltd., HCP Holdings, Inc., Strauss Coffee B.V., FESCO Transportation Group, Grohe AG, Lenta Limited, Mey Alkollü Içkiler, Punch Taverns, Spirit Group Limited, Findexa Limited and Pivovarni Ivana Taranova.

    He is on the Board of Global Witness, on the Global Partners Council of the economic think tank Institute of New Economic Thinking, on the Advisory Board for the Institute of State Effectiveness, on the Advisory Board of the Open Contracting Partnership, on the Jackson Institute's Advisory Council at Yale University, on the Asian Board of Right to Play, and a founder and former trustee of the Private Equity Foundation.

    "It's imperative The King's School continues offer its pupils to opportunities to row at all levels. The school is blessed with access to one of the best rowing rivers in the world, together with a heritage of great success in the sport. Following my experiences rowing with the school, I was fortunate to go on to row in three Cambridge Blue Boats and represent Great Britain in the Seoul Olympics in 1988. The sport is brutally honest, teaching young oarsmen and women an important life lesson – only through hard work can you achieve success. I am immensely grateful for the opportunities The King's School Rowing Club opened up for me and for the huge enjoyment I found in the sport. Hopefully our alumni support can help ensure many future generations of girls and boys will be able to enjoy similar experiences."

    Chris Bartley

    British Olympic Rower
    Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom

    Chris Bartley is a British Olympic Rower currently training towards selection for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. He became the first Welsh competitor to win a medal at the London 2012 Olympic part of the men's lightweight four, with Peter Chambers, Rob Williams and Richard Chambers.

    At the first World Cup of 2011 in Munich, Chris won a bronze medal in the lightweight men's four. Similarly, at the 2010 World Rowing Championships on New Zealand's Lake Karapiro, in an incredible tight final, Chris along with his lightweight men's four crewmates took gold by seven hundredths of a second.

    For the 2010 World Cup Series, Chris raced in the lightweight men's four winning gold in Munich and Lucerne and silver in Bled.

    Chris started rowing at The King's School aged 14 and rowed for Great Britain in the Coup de la Jeunessee as a junior. He continued rowing at the University of Nottingham where he completed a BSc in Biology and an MSc I Biological Photography, graduating in 2006. He then moved to Reading to train with the senior lightweight squad a Caversham.

    In 2005, his first season of U23 trailing, he stroked the lightweight men's squad to a sliver medial in Amsterdam. He was the World U23 Champion in the lightweight men's pair in 2006 with Richard Chambers, and in the same year went on to race in the senior lightweight pair at the Rowing World Championships finishing 6th. In 2007 he won a bronze medal at the World Championships in the lightweight quadruple scull.

    Chris has maintained a close relationship with King's and David Blackham our Director of Rowing. You can often find Chris down at Boat House coaching our current pupils.

    "I'm proud of my sporting career and thankful to those at King's who helped me with my first steps"

    His Honour Judge Anthony Russell

    Retired Senior Circuit Judge and Resident Judge for Lancashire Crown Courts
    Lancashire, United Kingdom

    In a distinguished career in lawcareer spanning over 45 years, the last nine as senior circuit judge, His Honour Judge Anthony Patrick Russell QC estimates that he has addressed at least 25,000 jurors.

    His Honour Judge Russell became a Circuit Judge in 2004. He was appointed Honorary Recorder of Preston, Senior Circuit Judge and Resident Judge for Lancashire Crown Courts in 2006. He retired with effect from 8 August 2015

    Judge Russell was called to the Bar (M) in 1974 and took Silk in 1999. He was a Member of the General Council of the Bar from 1987 to 1994, appointed a Recorder in 1993, Standing Counsel to Inland Revenue from 1994 to 1996.

    Outside work, Judge Russell has been known to go on various adventurous holidays to colder climates in northern Canada and Norway. He has seen polar bears and walruses at Spitzbergen, Norway, inside the Arctic Circle and hopes to travel south to the Antarctic. Judge Russell has a passion for music both as a choral performer and listener. He has been vice president of the Guild of Church Musicians.

    "Thank you for looking after me so well when I recently visited King's. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and was interested to discuss plans for the future of the School. "

    "I get great satisfaction from supporting worthwhile causes and look forward to doing what I can in the future to assist King's ambition to strength its bursary offering."

    Sir David Maddison

    Retired High Court Judge
    Liverpool, United Kingdom

    Sir David Maddison is a former British judge of the High Court of Justice, part of the Courts of England and Wales.

    Sir David was called to the bar at Inner Temple in 1970 and elected as a Bencher in 2005. He was appointed an Assistant Recorder in 1986, a Recorder in 1990, and a Circuit Judge in 1992. He served as a Member of the Parole Board from 1996 to 2002. In 2003, he was appointed a Senior Circuit Judge in 2003, Honorary Recorder of Manchester from 2003 to 2008, and Resident Judge for Manchester Crown Court. Sir David served in those roles until his appointment as a Justice of the High Court on 29 January 2008. He was assigned to the Queen's Bench Division and received a knighthood. During his time on the High Court, he served as Judicial Member to the Crown Court Rule Committee in 2009 and Director of Criminal Training for the Judicial Studies Board in 2010. On 22 May 2013, Maddison retired from the bench.

    "I am delighted to be part of The King's thriving community of former pupils. The School's alumni have such a wealth of knowledge and experience. I am keen that this is harnessed to help current pupils increase their understanding of the world of work and succeed within it.
    School's alumni

    I recently took part in a very well-organised event at the School which entirely succeeded in its aim of giving pupils contemplating a legal career a clear insight into the different career paths available, and into the necessary qualifications, the nature of the work, and the potential benefits and challenges associated with each. I was left with the firm impression that the many pupils who attended found the event enjoyable, informative and rewarding."

    John Cairns

    Retired Teacher
    Cumbria, United Kingdom

    John Cairns (known as Jock to his friends) studied at King's throughout the 1950's. He was a member of the school rowing club, rowing in the second VIII that won the clinker pennant on the Tideway in 1958, and subsequently in the first VIII. Jock was Head Boy in 1961-2, and his mother Mrs Gertrude Cairns chaired the Mothers' Guild.

    After a short stint working for the Ministry of Defence in the mid-1960's, John's passion for education and desire to motivate and inspire others drove him to enter the teaching profession. In a 30-year teaching career across several large secondary schools, John progressed from an entry level teaching position to a senior administrative position, where he has a sizable impact on curriculum development and school system planning.

    John's current interests include walking, choral singing and politics. John is an exponent of civic participation and is passionate about local democracy – he has previously served as Chair of Dent Parish Council in Cumbria and is currently Chairman and Director of a local community bus company.

    "I recently visited King's with my wife Kate to take a look around old stomping grounds.

    I had a fascinating day re-discovering things that I had long forgotten, and the School's kind hospitality made me feel very welcome. I look forward to coming back again before too long."

    Matthew Hancock

    Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
    Conservative MP for West Suffolk
    West Suffolk and London, United Kingdom

    Matthew was elected the MP for West Suffolk in the 2010 general election. In September 2012 he was appointed the Minister for Skills in the Departments for Education and for Business. In 2013 he was promoted to become Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise, then for Business, Enterprise and Energy. His ministerial responsibilities included Apprenticeships, small business, industry and energy policy.

    In May 2015, Matthew was appointed to attend Cabinet as Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office. His ministerial responsibilities include public sector efficiency and reform, digital transformation of government, transparency and cyber security. In July 2018, Matthew was promoted from his role as Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport to become Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

    At 39 years old, Matt is the youngest member of the cabinet.

    Before moving into politics, Matthew worked for his family business, as an economist at the Bank of England, and as Chief of Staff to George Osborne.

    Matthew Hancock is married to Martha and has three young children. He is the first MP in modern times to win a horse race, having raced to victory at the Newmarket July Course in August 2012. He is an avid cricketer and plays for the Lords & Commons Cricket team. Matthew once played the most northerly game of cricket on record, and succumbed to frostbite en route to the Pole. He retains all his fingers.

    "I enjoyed my time at King's, which gave me a great start. I enjoy meeting up with old friends and faces through the alumni network, which seems to get stronger all the time."

    Jonathan Samuels

    Sky News' Senior News Correspondent
    London, United Kingdom

    Jonathan Samuels is Sky News' Senior News Correspondent, having previously worked as Sky's Australia Correspondent. Before coming to Sky, Jonathan was Chief Correspondent for Channel 5 News during which time he covered national and international stories, including the election of Barack Obama, broadcasting live from Chicago as the election result was announced.

    Jonathan has reported from Iraq where he interviewed British sailors working in the waters close to Iran, days later those same sailors were captured by the Iranian authorities creating worldwide headlines. He's reported from Israel on the conflicts with Gaza and Lebanon, sneaked into Zimbabwe undercover to report on the 2008 elections and has covered several natural disasters including the devastating floods in Pakistan and more recently in Queensland, Australia as well as the earthquake and Tsunami which ripped through Japan in March 2011.

    Other stories have taken Jonathan to Chile, reporting on the safe return of the trapped miners stuck underground for more than two months, LA for the death of Michael Jackson, and New York's Ground Zero following the shooting of Osama Bin Laden. He's recently been to Greece to cover the refugee crisis, Washington to follow the rise of Donald Trump and Cyprus to witness the first British jets take off on bombing raids in Syria.

    Jonathan wanted to be a broadcaster since he was a boy and began his career on local radio in Wrexham. He loves telling stories and seeing history being made whether at home or abroad.

    Covering serious events also has its lighter side. In Sydney Jonathan regularly broadcast in his shorts and flip flops (although viewers only saw his jacket and tie) and in Iraq he was in a Portaloo when a rocket propelled grenade landed just metres away.

    He's met royalty, dictators, prime ministers and celebrities ... Trying to hit deadlines despite numerous scrapes along the way.

    Jonathan lives in London with his wife and 2 young children.

    "I have some great memories of my time at King's, especially outside the classroom, from school plays to skiing trips. I'm pleased to see the school is flourishing. Hopefully I can support current pupils who may have an interest in pursuing a career in Journalism"

    Mark Machin

    Senior Managing Director & Head of International President, CPPIB Asia Inc.
    Hong Kong, China

    Mark joined the CPP Investment Board in March 2012 and is responsible for coordinating all of the organisation's international investment activities, the overall management of its global advisory relationships as well as leading the organization in Asia.

    Prior to joining CPPIB, Mark had a 20 year career at Goldman Sachs, where he was most recently Vice Chairman of Asia ex-Japan, based in Beijing. Mark has been based in Asia since 1994 where, among other roles, he ran the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs in Asia ex-Japan for six years. Previously, he also ran Goldman Sachs' Equity Capital Markets and Financing businesses in Asia. Mark was a member of Goldman Sachs' Asia Management Committee and the Firmwide Capital Committee.

    Mark holds a BA from Oriel College, Oxford and BM BChir from Downing College, Cambridge.

    "I'm grateful King's, and in particular the rowing club, showed me that it was possible to compete nationally and internationally. That has stayed with me."

    Professor Hagan Bayley

    Professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford
    Oxford, United Kingdom

    Hagan Bayley FRS is a British scientist, who holds the position of Professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford. He was educated at The King's School, Balliol College, Oxford and Harvard University, where he was awarded a PhD in 1979.

    Professor Bayley uses a multidisciplinary approach to study transmembrane pore-forming proteins, and engineer them for applications in biotechnology, notably single-molecule sensing. He is the founder of Oxford Nanopore Technologies, which has developed the portable MinION DNA sequencer. Recently, he founded OxSyBio to exploit 3D printing to make tissues for medical applications.

    Following his PhD, Professor Bayley completed postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was on the faculties of Columbia University and Texas A&M University. Professor Bayley has been based at the University of Oxford since 2003 and is a fellow of Hertford College.

    He is a fellow of The Royal Society, the highest scientific honour to which practising academics can be elected.

    Professor Bayley currently sits on the Board of Governors at The King's School.

    "North Wales was quite isolated in the 1960s and I delighted in my daily trips by steam train to the big city of Chester"

    "The King's science practicals, many of which would likely be banned today, greatly boosted my interest in chemistry and physics"

    "I commuted to King's by train from Prestatyn in Wales. I recall the station at Chester, with platforms black and slimey from the steam engines, and then the bus or a long walk to the school. I enjoyed art and woodwork most of all. But, I fancied science and was guided by patient and able teachers with charming nicknames ... Gomer, Spider, Jammy .... In the freezing science wing, we lit bunsen burners to ensure our survival in the mornings. In those days we sat in alphabetical order. I remember ... Aylett, Bayley, Birch ... although we have not kept in touch. I was no rower, but I took part in cross-country running, which almost brought my delicate life to a premature end. Most of all, I am grateful to King's for a serious grounding in maths and science, which is still with me to this day."

    Abi Fisher

    Fashion Expert and Director of Abi Fisher Ltd
    Cheshire, United Kingdom

    Abi Fisher left King's in 2004 and since then she has made a name for herself in an industry that has captivated her family for generations. Exposed to the fashion world from a young age, Abi now finds herself travelling Europe in search of truly unique and exceptional quality clothing that cannot easily be found on the high street.

    Abi has chosen an innovative direction that has targeted a real gap in the market for affordable luxury with a personal touch. Customer service, style and quality are at the heart of the Abi Fisher exclusive collection of womenswear and accessories which is housed in a beautiful barn conversion in Willington, in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. The showroom is filled with hand-picked European brands, which feature classic ladies clothing with a sophisticated twist.

    "My family have been in the 'rag trade' for as long as I can remember and it has been a passion of mine since childhood. I am keen to see talent retained in the North West and support current pupils interested in working in fashion who might not have the means to move to London."

    Martin Lewis

    Martin Lewis attended King’s from 1983-1989 when his family moved to Cheshire from Manchester. After leaving King’s he went to study Government and Law at the London School of Economics, where he was also president of the Students’ Union before moving to Cardiff University to study broadcast journalism for a post graduate qualification.

    After graduating Cardiff, he became a journalist working on various TV/ Radio and newspaper channels, on radio shows such as BBC Radio 4 Today programme. In 2003, Martin created and set up the website moneysaving which grew to be a huge success with over 13 million subscribers by 2012 remaining Editor- in Chief after he sold the business in 2012.

    Today Martin is a renowned money-saving expert, starring in several TV and radio shows including his own prime time show: The Martin Lewis Money Show. He has visited King’s and given a lecture on student life to our Sixth Formers.

    Rob Eastaway

    Rob Eastaway studied at King’s until 1980. He left here to go to Christ’s College, Cambridge, to read Engineering and Management Science. He is famous for popularising Mathematics, particularly for children, after writing many books on the subject.

    Rob is a keen cricket player and was one of the originators of the International Ranking of Cricketers, designed to rate the current standing of cricket players based on their most recent form. Rob is also a former puzzle-writer for the new Scientist magazine and he appears frequently on BBC Radio 4 and 5 Live.

    He is the Director of Maths Inspiration, a national programme of maths lectures for teenagers, which involves some of the UK’s leading maths speakers and is a former President of the Mathematical Association.

    Rob returns to King’s every year, to lecture and inspire our pupils with fantastically interesting lectures, such as: “From Pepsi to Peace Deals”.

    Tom James MBE

    After Tom left King’s in 2002, he went to study Engineering at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he was also a Cambridge Blue, competing in four Boat Races and winning in 2007.

    Tom is a former GB Olympic rower and double Olympic gold medallist. Between 2003- 2012, Tom competed in many World Championships and World CUP competitions and he was selected for the GB rowing squad for 3 Olympic games: Athens (2004), Beijing (2008), London (2012). In 2008 and 2012, as a member of the GB Olympic coxless fours, Tom won gold medals and was honoured along with his teammates after London with a Royal Mail stamp and a golden post box in his home town.

    After the London Olympics, Tom retired from rowing and started a new career, based in London as a business consultant for finance and banking consultants Oliver Whyman. He is a steward at Henley Royal Regatta and had done some TV commentating on both at Henley and for The Boat Race.

    Tom has been, and continues to be, a very strong supporter of King’s and in particular the Rowing Club.

    “King’s hold a very special place in my heart as it was here that I first learnt to row. The dedication of the teachers and coaches at King’s gave me the foundation which has helped me achieve my ambition today. I am proud of my former school and often visit the current pupils and watch the progress of the young rowers with interest.”

    Ron Pickup

    Ronald Alfred Pickup was a pupil at King’s until 1959 before going on to read English at the University of Leeds. After graduating in 1962, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, and became an Associate Member of RADA. In 2011 he received a Doctor of Letters from the University of Chester, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to theatre, film and television.

    His television work began with an episode during the first series of Doctor Who and went on to feature in many television programmes such as: The Life of Verdi, Hornblower, Midsummer Murders, Silent Witness, Doc Martin, Fortunes of War, and Inspector Morse, amongst many others.

    He was the voice of Aslan in the BBC adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1988) and subsequent Chronicles of Narnia serials derived from the books by C.S. Lewis. In 1990, Ron appeared opposite Michael Caine in Jekyll & Hyde and in 1992 he appeared alongside Dervla Kirwan in A Time to Dance. He starred opposite Judi Dench in the 1989 Channel 4 serial Behaving Badly. In February 2010 he also appeared as Pegleg in the BBC’s period drama Lark Rise to Candleford. He appeared in Holby City as Charles, Lord Byrne and in November 2014 appeared on Coronation Street in a cameo role.

    Ron is also an accomplished stage actor. At the invitation of William Gaskill in 1965, he played the name part in Shelly at The Royal Court Theatre. He then went on to work with Laurence Olivier at the Royal National Theatre, most notably in Three Sisters and Long Day’s Journey into Night. He was nominated for a 1998 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role of 1997 for his performance in Amy’s View. In 2009, he starred as Lucky in Waiting for Godot opposite Sir Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and also Simon Callow.

    He has appeared in many film roles from The Day of the Jackal, Mahler, The Thirty Nine Steps, Zulu Dawn, Ivanhoe, to a government official in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again opposite Sean Connery.

    More recently in 2012, he played bachelor Norman Cousins, in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. He reprised the role in the sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, released in 2015.

    Ron is married to Lans Traverse and has two children; Rachel Pickup (actress) and Simon Pickup (film director, writer and designer). A frequent visitor to King’s including opening the Vanbrugh Theatre in 2012 and participating in the celebrations for King’s 475th anniversary, Ron was honoured with King’s first ever “Leading Lights” Award in 2016, awarded to Alumni annually.

    Nickolas Grace

    Born in West Kirby, Nickolas attended Arnold House (King’s Junior) in 1955, going on to King’s Upper until 1962, when his family moved down to Woodford Green. He trained at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, and made his first West End appearance in 1970 in Trevor Peacock’s ERB at the Strand Theatre.

    Nickolas joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1972 and played in Stratford, London and New York. In 1975 he played Hamlet at Derby Playhouse, and then returned to the RSC 1976-78, performing alongside Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Beryl Reid and Roger Rees. He was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance in Bernstein’s Candide at the Old Vic and BBC TV in 1989.

    He is probably best known for his performance as the flamboyant Anthony Blanche in ITV’s Brideshead Revisited (BAFTA Nomination); and the evil Sheriff of Nottingham in ITV’s Robin of Sherwood (Ace Nomination). Nickolas also played Boozer-Pitt in House of Cards, and Mr Casey in My Family and his films include Heat & Dust, Lorca, Evita and Mozart in Prague.

    He was in the stage version of Chariots of Fire at the Gielgud, and more recently in Sunday in the Park with George at the Châtelet in Paris. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Central School; and a Companion of LIPA, the school founded by Paul McCartney in Liverpool, where Nickolas regularly lectures.

    Nickolas was delighted to return to King’s in 2016 to be part of our 475th anniversary celebration after 53 years, where his last performance at the School was as Henry V in a BBC Schools’ Recording.

    James Fair

    James Fair joined King’s in 1993 aged eleven, and left in 1999. He leant to play hockey whilst here and first tried goalkeeping at Deeside Ramblers. He went on to study Geography and Geology at Birmingham University. James made his international debut in 2005 and competed for England and Great Britain, being capped 87 for England and 47 times for Great Britain. He represented GB in Beijing in 2008 and London 2012 as the first team’s goalkeeper.

    After retiring from hockey, James went on to teach and is currently at King Edward’s School Birmingham.

    “I really enjoyed my times at King’s, making the most of all the things the School had to offer. Obviously sport played a huge part playing football, cricket, hockey and being part of the athletics team. In these teams I made some great friends and shared some great moments, including making the quarter finals of the National Hockey tournament.”

    Dr Keith ‘Joe’ Johnson

    In 1966, Keith joined the Department of Economic Affairs in Newcastle-upon-Tyne planning development in the Northern Region but left in 1967 to take up a doctoral scholarship at the Australian National University, funded by the Reserve Bank of Australia. His PhD, focused on the developmental impacts of the Australian Government’s ‘Beef Roads Program’ in the Northern Territory and involved fieldwork interviewing cattle station managers, ‘road train’ operators, traditional overland-drovers and aboriginal stockmen.
    Over the following forty or so years, Keith worked widely, across some 25 countries, as a development economist and public policy advisor, with spells, for example, preparing regional planning and project feasibility studies for an Arab engineering company based in Beirut, and a seven year stint as an Economic Researcher and Senior Development Policy Officer with the Asian Development Bank, based in Manila, Philippines.
    In 1991, Keith settled in Wellington, New Zealand where he worked in the public service in a range of sectors and policy settings and undertook economic policy consulting assignments in New Zealand and abroad. ‘Retiring’ in 2009, he set about fulfilling a long-standing ambition to become a Creative Writer and Citizen Journalist and developed his own website ‘Keith Shorrocks Johnson, Wellington, New Zealand’. This currently hosts over 3,000 magazine articles about current affairs, contemporary culture, anglophone politics, and the arts, has recorded over 1.6 million page views from readers worldwide, and is the point of first publication for his now considerable stock of original poetry.
    Keith has now also adopted the old family name Shorrocks, having discovered through exhaustive research and DNA testing that his grandfather changed his name to Johnson, after fleeing Manchester for London around 1907.

  • Alumni born before 1900
    Randle Ayrton, film and stage actor, producer and director
    Maxwell Ayrton, Scottish Architect. He spent most of his adult life working in London and designed houses, public buildings, and bridges.
    Lord Bradbury of Winsford GCB, civil servant and chief economic advisor to the government during World War I 
    Thomas Brassey, civil engineer
    Edward Brerewood, mathematician, logician and antiquary
    Charles Burney, music historian, musician, composer and philosopher
    John Byrom FRS, poet and developer of geometric shorthand
    Randolph Caldecott, illustrator
    William Chaderton, academic, clergyman and former Regius Professor of Dvinty at the University of Cambridge 
    John Churton Collins, literary critic and former Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham  
    Piers Claughton, clergyman and former Archdeacon of London 
    Thomas Claughton, first Bishop of St Albans and former Oxford Professor of Poetry
    George Cotton, clergyman and educator, known for establishing schools in British India
    William Cowper, was a British doctor and antiquarian. In 1745 he was elected mayor of Chester.
    Sir Peter Denis, 1st Baronet naval officer and Member of Parliament
    John Downham, clergyman and theologian
    Joseph Everett Dutton, pathologist, physician and tropical medicine specialist
    Thomas Falconer, clergyman and classical scholar
    Sir Thomas Francis, physician, former president of the Royal College of Physicians. former Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford
    Christopher Goodman, clergyman and writer
    William Lee Hankey, painter and illustrator
    General Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill, former MP for Shrewsbury and Commander-in Chief of the Forces
    Thomas Hughes, Founder of CAOKS, he wrote 'The Strangers Handbook to Chester'
    George Lloyd, clergyman
    Bert Lipsham, England International footballer and FA Cup winner with Sheffield United in 1902
    Alexander and Robert Murray, two brothers aged 17 and 18, who in 1886, were abroad the ship 'The Earl of Jersey' when a seaman fell overboard. The Murrays, with six men, manned the lifeboat to rescue him, but the heavy seas swamped the boat, and all were drowned.
    William Parry, Welsh courtier and spy. He considered assassinating Elizabeth I of England and was executed.
    John Smyth MacDonald FRS, physiologist
    George Ormerod, antiquary and historian
    Sir John Tottie, Lord Mayor of Dublin
    Sir John Vanbrugh, English architect and dramatist
    Professor John Ward, he wrote the book 'The Young Mathematician's Guide"
    Sir Ralph Champneys Williams, colonial Governor of the British Windward Islands and Newfoundland and Labrador
    Thomas Wilson, clergyman
  • Alumni born after 1900
    Godfrey Ashby, former Bishop of St John's, South Africa
    Sir Edward Anwyl, academic, specializing in the Celtic languages
    Michael Axworthy, British academic. Former Head of the Iran section at the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office between 1998–2000.
    Chris Bartley, Olympic Rower
    Hagan Bayley FRS, scientist and Head of Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford
    Graham Benton, British and World Indoor Rowing Champion
    Michael Burdekin OBE, FREng, FRS, civil engineer and Emeritus Professor of the University of Manchester
    Sir John Carroll, mathematician, physicist and former Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen
    Rob Leslie-Carter, Engineer
    Arnold Cooke, Former Olympic Rower
    Simon Cottle, Managing Director at Ardian and former Olympic Rower
    Dr James De Graaff-Hunter, well known for his work in the Survey of India and in the International Association of Geodesy
    Lieutenant General Sir James Dutton, former Commandant-General, Royal Marines
    Professor James Eastaway, Professor of Baroque and Classical Oboes at Trinity Laban and the Royal College of Music
    Rob Eastaway, mathematician and ex-puzzle writer for New Scientist
    John Everard, British diplomat.
    James Fair, England and Great Britain hockey goalkeeper
    Myles Gallimore, Royal Navy Pilot
    Nickolas Grace, actor
    George Guest CBE, organist and choirmaster at St John's College Cambridge
    His Honour Derek Halbert, Retired Circuit Judge
    Matthew Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office and MP for West Suffolk 
    Phillip Hallam-Baker, computer scientist, mostly known for his contributions to Internet security
    Brian Hartley, Eminent Scholar of Archeology
    Tom James, Olympic gold medal oarsman
    Sir Glyn Smallwood Jones, colonial administrator and last Governor of Nyasaland  
    Trevor Kletz, safety engineer and author on industrial safety
    Ian Kamaly-Asl, Consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon
    Steve Leonard, television vet and BBC presenter
    Antony Lighten, renowned fertility expert
    Henry (Harry) Lester Smith, Second Lieutenant in the Cheshire Regiment, killed in action on 14th July 1917, aged 20 years
    Prof. William Owen Lester Smith,  Eminent educationist and Benefactor to The King's School
    David Latham OBE, Former Managing Director of Anglican Water and Former Chairman of CORGI
    Martin Lewis, financial journalist and co-founder of the  consumer finance website
    Andrew Lilico, economist and member of the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee
    Hugh Lloyd, comedy actor
    Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Mail Sports Writer
    Patrick Mercer, former MP for Newark
    Danny Miller, CEO of London creative agency Human After All, he also launched  Little White Lies , one of the ground breakers for today's independent publishing scene. 
    Keith Oates. Former Executive Deputy Chairman Marks & Spencer. Former Director of Diageo, B.T. and BBC Governor, lately Forestry Commissioner for England and G.B.
    Chris Parker, Consultant Clinical Oncologist
    Wyndham Parker He was Captain in the RAMC. Awarded an MC for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. "Accompanied by one man, he succeeded in capturing the enemy's position, together with six prisoners. Later, he took command of his company and drove off an enemy counter-attack".
    Mike Parry, journalist and radio presenter
    Stephen Peel, British businessman, private equity investor, philanthropist and former Olympic rower
    Ronald Pickup, actor
    Rowan Pritchard-Jones, Renowned Plastic Surgeon
    F J E Raby, former Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments 
    Canon Maurice Ridgeway, belonged to a now almost extinct breed of scholar parish priests
    Finley Robertson, actor
    Peter Rudge, Former Olympic Rower
    His Honour Judge Anthony Patrick Russell QC, retired Senior Circuit Judge 
    Douglas Scone, local hero – He lost his life, aged 22, in a river tragedy on the Thames while saving four boys from drowning
    Jonathan Samuels, journalist
    Graham Scott, international concert pianist
    Jonathan Shanklin, Meteorologist
    The Hon. Mr Justice Spencer, British High Court Judge
    George Drewry Squibb, lawyer
    Dr John Smyth MacDonald, academic
    Jim Walker, Co-founder of The Climate Group and former Olympic Rower
    Professor Graeme White, Retired Historian
    David Whitley, Author
    Olivia Whitlam, Former Olympic rower
    Kevin Whyman, much loved OKS and former RAF pilot. Tragically lost his life during aerobatic display
    Ken Wilbraham, Wrote the book 'Beyond the Stile: A Cheshire Lad Remembers – Hatching plots and dreams in the countryside'
    Arnold Frederic Wilkins OBE, radar pioneer