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9 famous people who graduated with 2:2s and 3rds

Charlie Benson
Content Marketing Executive

Does missing out on a 2:1 really impact your future success? 

It certainly didn't hold these celebrities back. And, whether you want to be in the limelight like the people on this list, or do something more related to your degree, there are plenty of opportunities out there for graduates who didn't score a 2:1 or First. See this list of companies hiring 2:2 graduates right now, for example. 

The more experience you accumulate, and the more time passes after you leave uni, the less important your degree grade becomes. So, if you find yourself feeling disappointed on graduation day, remember: all is not lost. You've got loads of time to make your mark. 


Here are 9 famous and successful people who graduated with 2:2s and 3rds:


1. Carol Vorderman

Vorderman graduated with a 3rd in Engineering from the University of Cambridge. She then went on to co-host Countdown for 26 years, which saw her become known for her ability to make quick, accurate arithmetical calculations. She also earned an estimated £1 million per year, making her one of the highest-paid women in Britain. If you think a low uni grade means low intellectual ability, think again.



Credit: 21stCenturyGreenstuff



2. Bear Grylls

A 2:2 in Spanish from Birkbeck, University of London certainly didn't impact the future success of this best-selling author, Emmy-nominated TV presenter and proud Chief Scout. 



Credit: Jamie Gray Photography 



3. Hugh Laurie 

At one point, Laurie was listed in the Guinness World Records as the most-watched leading man on TV, as well as being one of the highest-paid actors in a television drama. With two Golden Globe Awards for his work in House, we're pretty sure Laurie's 3rd in Archaeology and Anthropology doesn't bother him. 



Credit: Jeroen Komen 



4. David Dimbleby 

Journalist and presenter David Dimbleby is perhaps best-known for hosting Question Time. He has anchored the BBC's General Election coverage since 1979, as well as presenting documentary series on architecture and history. Oh, and he got a 3rd in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford



Credit: Laurence Boyce 



5. Jo Whiley 

Whiley's 2:2 in Applied Languages from Brighton Polytechnic (now Brighton University) didn't stop her going on to have a successful radio and television career. She was the host of the Jo Whiley Show on BBC Radio 1 and is a celebrity ambassador to UK charity Mencap.



Credit: Paul Hudson 



6. J.K. Rowling 

You've probably heard of J.K. Rowling, seeing as her Harry Potter series is the best-selling in history, with more than 400 million copies sold. No chance a 2:2 in French and Classics from the University of Exeter was going to hold her back. 



Credit: Daniel Ogren 



7. A.A. Milne

The author, best-known for his Winnie-the-Pooh books, was also a captain of the British Home Guard in World War II. He got a 3rd in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, but it's definitely not what he's remembered for.



Wikimedia Commons



8. Christopher Hitchens

Hitchens got a 3rd in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He then went on to become the author, co-author, or editor of over 30 books - as well as writing for Vanity Fair, The Times Literary Supplement, New Statesmen and more. 



Credit: Fri Tanke 



9. Michael Dobbs

Michael Dobbs is a Conservative politician and best-selling author. A 3rd in Philosophy, Politics and Economics didn't stop him writing the famous House of Cards triology; he's now an executive producer of the American television series based on his books. 



Credit: Per-Arne.Larsen