Arts & Media
ACTORS & THEATRE
Burgess, John C
Literary Manager of the National Theatre, the post first held by Kenneth Tynan (1945).
Five times World Irish Dance Champion who starred in Riverdance whilst still at KES. He was chosen as the understudy for Michael Flatley in the famous Lord of the Dance tour before taking the lead role himself in Lord of the Dance 2.
Cooper, George Melville
Actor on stage and screen.
Writer in Residence, Birmingham Repertory Theatre (2013- ); co-creator of BBC series, Cuckoo, with fellow Old Ed Kieron Quirke (1997).
Actor on stage, in films and television.
Season Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company
Entrepreneur; founder of Transatlantic Records, and later a theatrical producer and agent; member of the Council of the Theatrical Managers' Association, and of the Theatre Advisory Council.
Lee, Kevin (Kevin Elyot)
Actor in theatre and on television; writer of plays, television adaptations of Agatha Christie and other works; winner of the Writers Guild Award (1991).
Natkiel, Alastair M H
Television and stage actor, appeared in West End productions Shrek the Musical and Strangers on a Train
Oddie, William E (Bill)
Humorist, entertainer and actor, becoming famous as one of The Goodies; scriptwriter, TV presenter, bird watcher. Winner of the Silver Rose Award at the Montreux Festival.
Co-creator of BBC series, Cuckoo, with fellow Old Ed Robin French (1997).
Rees, Walter Llewellyn
Actor; general secretary of British Actors Equity (1940-1946); administrator of the Old Vic (1949-1951) and other theatres
Actor on stage, in films and television.
Burne-Jones, Edward Coley
Kt; Artist, one of the leading members of the pre-Raphaelite movement; friend of Dixon (1852).
Artist; according to The Dictionary of National Biography, attended the grammar school in Birmingham "for a short time".
Jacot, Emile Wilkinson
Sculptor, won British School at Rome Scholarship in Sculpture 1925; left KES 1914, commissioned in Royal Warwickshire Regiment, wounded on the Somme 1916
Watts, James Thomas
Artist, disciple of the pre-Raphaelites, first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1878
FCSD ASTD; after working as a designer in Pakistan and Canada formed a design consultancy in Edinburgh, Gerrard & Medd; Design Council Scottish Designer of the Year in 1980; Vice president of the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD) 1990-93 and Chairman of the CSD in Scotland.
Deathridge, John William
Musician, FRCO; Wagner buff; Fellow of King's College, Cambridge (1983-1995); Professor of Music, King's College, London (1996-)
Conductor. Associate Music Director, Covent Garden, from 1991. Director of the Australian Opera, Principal Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic and the Netherlands Radio Orchestra. Kt (1991).
Foxley, Ray G
Goulding, Fraser J
Director of Music and permanent conductor, D'Oyly Carte Opera Company from 1979 until its closure in 1982; since then, a freelance conductor.
Founder of the Bampton Classical Opera.
FRCO; Master of Music, Chelmsford Cathedral (1965-1981); President of the Incorporated Association of Organists (1975-1977); Director of Music Studies, Yamaha School of Music, Kuching, Sarawak (1988-1991).
Tenor with the Bergen Opera Company, died in a skiing accident in December 2015
Long, David E
Hon Secretary of the Royal Philharmonic Society (2012-)
Master of the Music of Norwich Cathedral (2007-2011). Conductor of many choirs and director of choral workshops in the UK and Europe.
D Mus, organist, scholar and journalist; organist of Brisbane Catholic Cathedral and conductor of Brisbane Musical Union; later, in South Africa, organist at Pietermaritzburg Catholic Church, Conductor of Pietermaritzburg Orchestral Society, Professor at University College, Natal.
Munrow, David B
Musician extraordinary; a dynamic pioneer in the performance and dissemination of medieval music; a brilliant deviser of radio programmes about music.
Composer of Cavatina for guitarist John Williams (theme of movie The Deer Hunter) and much other music for film and television.
Oxley, T Frederick Harrison
FRCO; organist and Master of the Choristers, St Edmundsbury Cathedral (1958-1984); conductor of the St Edmundsbury Bach Choir and Orchestra (1958-2001); recitalist.
Breakfast show producer, Capital FM Radio (and now running an online marketing business)
Journalist: 6 years with The Guardian, then 24 years with The Economist; author of The World in Conflict: Understanding the World's Troublespots (2016)
Austin, Timothy D
Chief Revise Editor of The Times.
Barber, John Herbert
Theatre critic on the Daily Express and Daily Telegraph; script editor for BBC Television.
British documentary film-maker, won a BAFTA award for a series on the Royal Opera House.
Cleary, Michael J
Rugby Correspondent, Daily Telegraph
Editor of the Birmingham Daily Gazette from 1869; on Paris staff of The Times in 1875; barrister, appointed District Judge in Jamaica 1876, Puisne judge in Natal 1881, Puisne Judge in Mauritius 1884
Director of the British Board of Film Classification.
Edwards, Ernest G
Sporting journalist and broadcaster in Liverpool, Sports Editor of the Liverpool Echo (1902- ), responsible for naming ‘Spion Kop' at Anfield
Editor of The Daily Telegraph 2014, after being News Editor since 2007
Ferns, W Paterson
C.M. (2005); President of Ferns Productions Inc., Canada. Produced some of Canada's finest award-winning programming and the world's leading media events. Presents signature pitching sessions worldwide. Awarded The Order of Canada in 2005 for his services to the industry.
BBC TV producer; became editor of Tomorrow's World, thereafter concentrating on science television; produced TV series Stephen Hawking's Universe and wrote a best-selling book of the same name.
Presenter of ‘Newshour' on BBC World Service radio; formerly BBC Sports News Correspondent and then BBC Middle East Correspondent on events in China 1989
Head of editing and post-production sound at the BBC Television Centre.
Grant, Jim (aka Lee Child)
Novelist, famous for the Jack Reacher novels. First novel, Killing Floor, won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel and 13th novel, Gone Tomorrow, published in 2009, reached Number One in the US book charts. Previously presentation director at Granada TV for 18 years, involved (inter alia) in the making of Brideshead Revisited and The Jewel in the Crown.
Hadley, L P
Editor of The Birmingham Post (1943-1945)
Lord Hall of Birkenhead; CEO Royal Opera House (2000-2013); Director-General of the BBC (2013-)
Producer with BBC (including seven years working on Dr Who) and then with independent company Big Finish Productions; now writing radio dramas.
War correspondent for the Daily Mail, wounded while with the relieving forces on the way to Mafeking; on the staff of the Daily Mail from 1896 to 1921
Features editor of the Daily Telegraph.
Henshaw, F H
Sports journalist with the Birmingham Post and then with the Birmingham Mail
Head of Educational Broadcasting, ATV; Director of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme; CVO.
Journalist for The Times, The Observer
Journalist and broadcaster, ultimately editor of BBC Radio Today program.
Hutton, Thomas W
Editor of the Birmingham Post; historian of the school and governor.
Journalist, author and lecturer, best known for his work on football history and stadiums, and as editor of the Played in Britain series for English Heritage (Historic England).
Kemp, Thomas Charles
Drama critic of the Birmingham Post (1935-1956), in succession to another OE, Raymond Crompton Rhodes; author
Maker of science and arts documentaries at the BBC
Knox, Edmund George Valpy
Poet and satirist who wrote under pseudonym ‘Evoe'; Editor of ‘Punch' (1932-1949)
BBC journalist, won the Sony Radio Journalist of the Year Award for his coverage of events in China 1989; appointed China Editor of The Economist in 2014.
For many years film correspondent of the Listener; broadcaster and film director; author of books on film.
Chief sports writer, 'Sunday People'.
Munrow, David B
Musician extraordinary: a brilliant deviser of radio programmes about music; a dynamic career in the performance and dissemination of medieval music.
Oddie, William E (Bill)
Humorist, entertainer, scriptwriter, television performer, bird-watcher. Winner of the Silver Rose Award at the Montreux Festival.
Newspaper editor, United Newspapers
Rhodes, Raymond Crompton
Drama critic of the Birmingham Post; author of books on Shakespeare, Sheridan and other subjects; collector of fashion plates now in Birmingham Library
Sells, David J G
Journalist with Reuters, subsequently covered foreign news for the BBC
TV association football commentator, worked in Rio for the 2014 FIFA World Cup
Canadian journalist, broadcaster, theatre and movie critic, current affairs writer, authority on musicals.
Tayar, Graham J
Executive Producer, BBC Schools Radio; Head of Audio/Radio for the SAAG Consortium; Media/Education consultant; poet and jazz pianist
Tynan, Kenneth Peacock
Brilliant drama critic of The Observer newspaper (1954-1963); propagandist for the drama of Bertold Brecht when it was hardly ever seen on the English stage; Literary Adviser to the National Theatre (1963-); one of the authors of the erotic revue Oh! Calcutta! (1969)
Journalist and writer.
Financial Times bureau chief, Berlin
Walters, John Cuming
Editor of Manchester Evening Chronicle, and later of the Manchester City News; author of books about Dickens, Tennyson and other literary subjects
Journalist and broadcaster; South of England Junior Lawn Tennis Champion at the age of 13
Deputy Director, BBC World Service
US columnist for The Guardian; author of two books about the Presidency of US President Barack Obama
Worked for BBC, now maker of TV documentaries, many with motorcyclist Guy Martin
Translator of Hungarian literature, awarded the 2019 Faludi Ferenc Prize by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Scientific writer and novelist.
Baddeley, R W
Novelist and poet
Novelist and novel reviewer for the Guardian newspaper. Novels include The Rotters' Club and The Closed Circle, featuring characters at a fictional equivalent of KES.
Coney, Michael Greatrex
Author of The Final Whistle: The Great War in Fifteen Players (2013), winner of The Times British Sports Book Award for Rugby 2013
QC and author of the Naomi Nicholas Trilogy.
Novelist and artist.
Grant, Jim (aka Lee Child)
Novelist, famous for the Jack Reacher novels. First novel, Killing Floor, won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel and 13th novel, Gone Tomorrow, published in 2009, reached Number One in the US book charts. Was previously presentation director at Granada TV for 18 years, involved (inter alia) in the making of Brideshead Revisited and The Jewel in the Crown.
Griffiths, Paul A
Music critic of The Times, novelist and opera librettist. Named a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011.
Poet, writer of two KES school songs
Novelist: author of the Mercia Blakewood trilogy - three historical novels about Restoration England and America.
Journalist and writer; his books included a science fiction novel, The Evolution Man, which was a best-seller in its French translation and was made into a film cartoon in Czechoslovakia.
Journalist, television producer and novelist.
Television dramatist and novelist. Award winning writer of radio drama series and serials as well as many original plays.
CB; Career soldier, ultimately Brigadier-General, serving with distinction in Egypt and South Africa; writer of adventure stories
Morton, Henry Vollam
Author of books largely about places, accompanied Churchill at his Atlantic Charter meeting with Roosevelt, as recorded in his book The Atlantic Meeting
Author of novels about the First World War
Dramatist and translator.
Ryder, Rowland V
Biographer and cricket writer; biographies include Edith Cavell, Ravenstein and Sir Oliver Leese.
Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel
CBE; celebrated author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; Professor of English Language at Leeds University (1924); Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford (1925-1945); Merton Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford (1945-1959)