Following the news that Baroness Floella Benjamin is stepping down as the University’s Chancellor, campus is already a-buzz as to who could possibly replace this all-singing, all-dancing and all-hugging Exeter icon. We’ve lined up a list of possible replacements for you to have a ponder over, then place your vote in our poll below…
J K Rowling – Arguably the most famous of Exeter’s alumni, J K would bring big crowds come graduation day. I’m thinking the whole she-bang, Hogwarts style: Forum Street transformed into a miniature Diagon Alley, a life-size Dobby on stage to hand us that all important scroll, and a pub crawl ending in Old Firehouse (the inspiration for ‘The Leaky Cauldron’) to see the night in. Pass the Butterbeer.
David Tennant – No stranger to Streatham campus, David might initially be a little perplexed that he isn’t here to solve a gruesome murder (or that the Forum isn’t actually a Devon court room), however, we think this could be the role for him. Forget ‘Doctor Who’ or treading the boards of the West End, once David bellows out our names in the Great Hall, he’ll know he’s made it big. Welcome to showbiz, darling.
Katie Hopkins – This notorious wallflower, and previous Exeter student, might be a little shy to face the vast audiences of graduation day, but hopefully she’ll be able to break out of her shell with a little encouragement. She might even bring her Big Brother enemy with her – everyone loves The Pricey, after all.
Joss Stone – Her Mum owns ‘Mama Stones’, so she’s essentially only up the road! No risk of a travel expenses scandal here… Joss’s dulcet tones would soothe even the most anxious of graduates, plus she might even bring her Grammy along with her so we glimpse an achievement outside of a numerical value.
Solomon Akhtar – He’s proved his worth under the pressure of Lord Sugar’s glare on ‘The Apprentice’ (minus that 3 page business plan…), and fancies himself as a bit of a BNOC of Exeter town. Could this be the dream role to make it big? If the formidable team of Nick-and-Karen come in the bundle too, consider this a sure bet.
Barney the Dinosaur – He’s friendly. He hugs. He boogies. He even sings. He’s basically a prehistoric and ever-so-slightly fictional version of Floella, if she happened to love wearing a full-body violet dinosaur suit. Before you judge, a group rendition of ‘I love you, you love me’ would be a stonker to see out the ceremony. Am I right? If graduation day isn’t a time for feeling the love, when is? Also, rumour has it Barney even has a guest-house in Devon… I smell a convenient signing.
James Pidduck, Online Comment Editor
Cast your vote in the poll below: