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Association of Colleges

Hall of Fame 2004

AoC Gold Award winners 2004


Wale Adeyemi accepting his AwardWale Adeyemi MBE
Fashion Designer
Studied BTEC National Diploma in Design (Fashion) at Thurrock and Basildon College

Wale's studies at the College gave him a good understanding  of the fashion business and he is now considered one of the UK's most recognised and successful fashion designers. His course enabled him to build a portfolio of work, which he used to further his studies in design. Wale was first recognised when he worked at a designer boutique in Covent Garden whilst also running a stall at Camden Market.  Wale regularly leads workshops for the Aim Higher programme which helps young people into higher education and Karrot, an organisation run by the Metropolitan Police which aims to tackle truancy. He also offers placements to current fashion students.

Stephen Fry's sister accepting the Award on his behalf and Julie Mellor MBE, President of AoC Charitable Trust

Stephen Fry
Actor, Author, Director, Television Presenter, and Comedian
Studied A levels at City College Norwich

Stephen declares the College as being his 'saviour' following an unsuccessful attempt at sitting his A-levels. Although the College had closed enrolment, he informed the Admissions Tutor that if allowed to enrol, he would go on to study at Cambridge. Stephen kept his promise and went on to study English at the university. As an internationally renowned actor, author, television presenter, director and comedian, he has enjoyed a long and varied career.

His work includes:

  • Co-writing and co-starring in A Bit of Fry and Laurie with Hugh Laurie
  • Playing Melchett in the BBC comedy, Blackadder
  • Hosting the BBC comedy-quiz show, QI
  • Making and presenting documentaries

Please visit our Acceptance Speeches section to watch Stephen Fry accepting his Award.

Listen to Stephen Fry on the BBC's Desert Island Discs.

Christian Furr accepting his AwardChristian Furr
Studied Fine Art at Wirral Metropolitan College

Christian describes his time at College as invaluable as it acted as a catalyst for his future career. He praises his tutors for teaching him to see the heroism in everyday life. He speaks of one occasion when his tutors took his class outside on a bitterly cold day and were told to draw their surroundings. Once they started drawing, however, they began to see the wisdom of their tutors.  Christian has exhibited extensively around the world including the National Portrait Gallery in London and was the youngest artist to paint Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 28. Tim Henman was another of Christian's portrait subjects.



Josette Bushell-Mingo and Julie Mellor, MBE, President of AoC Charitable TrustJosette Bushell-Mingo
Actor, Director and Producer of the Push Festival
Studied A levels at Barking College

Josette developed her performance skills in dance, singing and drama whilst studying at the College. Barking gives all students to work with professional theatre and dance companies and Josette completed a week-long residency at Kaboodle Theatre Company. She has a highly successful theatre career with major roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and in the West End. In 2000, she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress for her role in The Lion King. Josette is also an acclaimed theatre director and producer of London's Push Festival, which celebrates the work of black culture and performers.

Kate Barker
Former External Member of the Monetary Policy Committee (Bank of England)
Studied A levels at City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College

A respected economist, Kate became an external member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee. Kate credits the excellent teaching she received at the College as the inspiration for her application to Oxford, where she went on to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Prior to taking up her post on the Monetary Policy Committee, Kate was Chief European Economist at the Ford Motor Company, Chief Economic Adviser at the CBI, a member of the then Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke's Panel of Independent Economic Advisers and a Non-Executive Director of the Yorkshire Building Society.

Andy Robinson OBE
English Rugby Union Coach
Studied A levels at Richard Huish College

Andy won his Award for managing the England Rugby Team. He was subsequently appointed as Head Coach of the Scotland Rugby Team. After studying at the College, he progressed to higher education and then studied to become a Physical Education teacher. He then went on to play rugby for Bath, England and the British Lions. After retiring from playing rugby, he moved into coaching, working under Clive Woodward as Senior Assistant Coach where the team enjoyed success at the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

*All photographs are copyright of Geoff Crawford