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City Lit Fellows

City Lit Fellowships were established by the Board of Governors in 2015. City Lit Fellowships are awarded to individuals who have shown a significant commitment to adult education in the United Kingdom and who have provided support and inspiration to City Lit and our students.

Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBELord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE

Featured City Lit Fellow

Anna Burns

Anna Burns is a former student at City Lit. She is an award-winning author and wrote the three novels: No Bones, Little Constructions and Milkman. Milkman won the Man Booker Prize 2018, the 2019 Orwell Prize for political fiction and the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award.

I'm thrilled and honoured to be offered a City Lit Fellowship Award. I gained so much during the time I attended classes at Keeley Street. I spent a happy time there, mainly singing and dancing and - most of all - writing. And I thank the staff, the tutors and the building itself for the wonderful opportunities and benefits I received during my time there.

HRH Princess RoyalHRH Princess Royal
Gillian AndersonGillian Anderson
Ed BallsEd Balls
Mary BeardMary Beard

HRH The Princess Royal

In April 2019, HRH The Princess Royal received The City Lit Centenary Fellowship in recognition of her commitment to adult education, when we welcomed Her Royal Highness to present the City Lit Centenary Awards. 


Gillian Anderson OBE

Award-winning film, television, and theatre actress, Gillian Anderson OBE, received her City Lit Lifetime Fellowship Award from Chair of the Board of Governors Dame Moira Gibb in 2018.

Ed Balls

Ed Balls is a broadcaster, writer and economist. In 2016, we welcomed Ed Balls back to City Lit to discuss his political career, life after Strictly Come Dancing, and how the speech therapy classes at City Lit helped him manage his stammer...

Professor Dame Mary Beard

Professor Dame Mary Beard is one of Britain’s best-known Classicists – a distinguished Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Newnham College. She has written numerous books on the Ancient World. In addition, Mary presented highly acclaimed TV series.

Malorie BlackmanMalorie Blackman
Nick BolesNick Boles
Gary BourletGary Bourlet
Sir Vince Cable Sir Vince Cable

Malorie Blackman OBE

Malorie Blackman OBE has a long connection with City Lit as a former student attending diverse courses with us since the late 1980s.  Having written over fifty books, Malorie is acknowledged as one of today’s most imaginative and convincing writers for young readers.

Nick Boles MP

Nick Boles MP served as Minister for Skills in the Departments for Education and Business, Innovation and Skills from September from 2014 until July 2016.

Gary Bourlet

As co-founder of Learning Disability England, Gary Bourlet is passionate about representing those with learning disabilities. Gary is a former City Lit student, and we’re incredibly proud of his achievements and outstanding advocacy on learning disabilities. 

The Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable

The Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable was Leader of the Liberal Democrats and MP for Twickenham until 2019. As Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills he was steadfast in his personal commitment in protecting funding for adult skills.  

Paul FarmerPaul Farmer
Dame Evelyn GlennieDame Evelyn Glennie
Bonnie GreerBonnie Greer
Antony Gormley OBEAntony Gormley OBE

Paul Farmer CBE

Paul Farmer has been a supporter of the College and a regular speaker at the Mental Wealth Festival for many years. Paul has been Chief Executive of Mind, the leading mental health charity working in England and Wales since May 2006

Dame Evelyn Glennie

Performing worldwide with the greatest orchestras, conductors and artists, Dame Evelyn Glennie’s solo recordings are as diverse as her career on-stage. A double GRAMMY award winner and BAFTA nominee Evelyn is a composer for film, television and music library companies. 

Bonnie Greer OBE

Bonnie Greer OBE is an American-British playwright, novelist, critic and broadcaster, who has lived in the UK since 1986. She was one of our guest speakers during last year’s Classics Week. 

Sir Antony Gormley OBE

As a renowned artist and sculptor Sir Antony Gormley OBE has made a huge contribution to the arts in the UK. One of his best known works is the ‘Angel of the North’, a public sculpture in Gateshead in the North of England.

Baroness Sheila HollinsBaroness Sheila Hollins
Baroness Sheila HollinsBaroness Sheila Hollins
Baroness Sheila HollinsBaroness Sheila Hollins
Baroness Sheila HollinsBaroness Sheila Hollins

The Rt. Hon Damian Hinds MP

The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP has previously been Minister for Employment and Secretary of State for Education.  Damian became an MP in 2009 and has been instrumental in championing lifelong learning and advocating the many alternative routes to employment other than university.

Dr Fiona Hill

Dr Fiona Hill, British-American foreign affairs specialist & author is a former advisor to the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations. She is a champion of access to education and often talks about the opportunities she was given to study, as the daughter of a miner. As the new Chancellor of the University of Durham, she understands the importance of education, and the opportunities it can create.

Baroness Sheila Hollins

The first fellowship was awarded to Baroness Sheila Hollins who has made an outstanding contribution to education for adults with learning disabilities in the UK and overseas. 

Bettany Hughes OBE

Bettany Hughes OBE, English historian, author and broadcaster has made a huge contribution to the study of ancient and medieval history and culture. Bettany has made the world of classics popular, understandable, and accessible.  We were delighted to welcome Bettany as a keynote speaker at Classics Week 2022 at the British Museum.

David Lammy MPDavid Lammy MP
Andrea LevyAndrea Levy
Jonathan MillerJonathan Miller

The Rt Hon. David Lammy MP

The Rt Hon. David Lammy MP is a huge advocate of adult education and a great supporter of City Lit. He is the leading voice in parliament and beyond in raising awareness of the importance of adult education and the critical need for a national strategy. 

Andrea Levy

In 2016, Andrea was awarded a City Lit Lifetime Fellowship in recognition of her commitment to adult education in the UK, and the huge inspiration her writing and career provides City Lit students.


As Guest of Honour at the 2017 City Lit Awards, Lulu spoke passionately about City Lit and enthused about our students and their achievements. Students and staff alike were deeply impressed by her warmth and wowd by her rendition of 'Shout' with the City Lit Percussion Orchestra.

Francesca Martinez

Francesca Martinez is a former student of City Lit and now best known as a comedian, writer and unflinching campaigner. She describes her cerebral palsy condition as being a ‘bit wobbly’ and has not allowed it to hold her back from being the first woman to win the coveted Open Mic Award.

Jonathan MillerJonathan Miller
Munira MirzaMunira Mirza

Sir Jonathan Miller

Sir Jonathan was a distinguished theatre and opera director, in addition to his talents as an author, photographer, sculptor, broadcaster and a qualified doctor. Sir Jonathan was an active part of City Lit's family. 

Munira Mirza

Munira Mirza is a Former Deputy Mayor of London who has worked for a range of cultural and charitable organisations including the Royal Society of Arts, the independent think tank Policy Exchange and Tate.

Dame Magdalene Odundo

Dame Magdalene Odundo, world renowned ceramic artist has made a huge contribution to the arts in the UK.  Magdalene has a strong connection to our School of Visual Arts and as Chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts, understands the importance of arts education and the importance of the arts for individuals, society and the economy.

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE has had a hugely successful corporate career which he attributes to the kindness of his school headmaster.  In 2015, Her Majesty the Queen appointed Sir Ken as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Greater London and he was knighted in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List for services to business and philanthropy.

Grayson PerryGrayson Perry
Anna BurnsAnna Burns
Dame Ruth SilverDame Ruth Silver
Dame Ruth SilverDame Ruth Silver

Grayson Perry CBE

Grayson Perry CBE, is an award-winning artist who works in a variety of media, including embroidery and photography, yet he is best known for his ceramic works: classically shaped vases covered with figures, patterns and text. 

David Puttnam CBE

David Puttnam CBE is an award-winning British film producer, educator and environmentalist. As an educator, David has played a pivotal role in ensuring education is accessible, delivering online seminars to engage and inspire students all over the world. On a number of occasions, he has supported the work of City Lit and our students.

Dame Esther Rantzen

Dame Esther Rantzen is a national hero. She has had a long career as a journalist, broadcaster and relentless campaigner. Dame Esther set-up Childline in the 1980s to provide counselling for children suffering abuse and then, following the death of her husband, she established Silver Line in 2012 to combat loneliness for older people.

Dame Ruth Silver

Dame Ruth Silver is the founding President of the Further Education Trust for Leadership, an independent think tank focusing on the leadership of thinking in and about the FE and Skills system. She was the Principal of Lewisham College and writes and broadcasts extensively on educational matters and is deeply committed to economic and social inclusiveness.

Nick StuartNick Stuart
Carol Stott MBECarol Stott MBE
Jeremy SwainJeremy Swain
Ruby Wax OBERuby Wax OBE

Nick Stuart CB

Nick Stuart was educated at Oxford then worked at the Department for Education and Science. He went on to hold a number of posts as Director General in the Education and Employment Departments between 1987. In 2001 he retired as Director General for Lifelong Learning.

Carole Stott MBE

Carole Stott MBE, is a former Chair of the Board of Governors of City Lit and during her tenure we were recognised with an outstanding Ofsted rating and the Investors in People Gold Award.

Jeremy Swain

Jeremy Swain began working with homeless people in 1980, starting as a volunteer. After working in a variety of paid roles including as a street outreach worker he progressed to be Chief Executive of Thames Reach.

Ruby Wax OBE

As an adult learner Ruby Wax is a wonderful role model demonstrating the positive impact adult education can have in not only enhancing mental wellbeing but also supporting a change in direction later in life.