Speakers at the Union

As a pre-eminent forum for free speech, the Cambridge Union has hosted a wide platform of speakers who shape the world we live in. We offer a space for members to engage with individuals from all walks of life, and both hear and challenge the views they present.

Whilst this list is certainly not exhaustive, The Cambridge Union Society - as the most famous debating society in the world - has hosted such individuals as:


Politicians

Winston Churchill – Margaret Thatcher – John Major – The Dalai Lama – Ronald Reagan – Theodore Roosevelt – Ted Heath – Pervez Musharraf – Lord Michael Howard* – Colonel Muammar Gaddafi – Boris Johnson – Ken Livingstone – Vince Cable* – John Bercow – Julian Huppert – Dominique Strauss-Kahn – Nigel Farage – Rev. Jesse Jackson - Lord Norman Lamont* - Ken Clarke*

* Former President(s) of the Cambridge Union

 

 

Drama

Dame Judi Dench – Vanessa Redgrave – John Malkovich – Sir Ian McKellen – Harrison Ford – Derek Jacobi – Bill Nighy – Roger Moore – Patrick Stewart – Clint Eastwood – Rupert Everett – Hugh Bonneville – Lisa Kudrow – Brian Blessed – Zoe Wanamaker – Michael Winner – Lily Cole – Tom Hollander - Dominic West - Alec Baldwin - Robert Downey Jr. 

 

Comedians

Omid Djalili – Dara O'Briain – Sue Perkins – Jo Brand – Stephen Fry – Al Murray – Bill Oddie – Tim Minchin – Armando Ianucci – David Blaine – Rob Brydon – Ulrika Jonsson – Russell Brand – Tim Vine – Reginald D. Hunter - Russell Kane - Simon Amstell - Ed Byrne

 

Journalism and Broadcasting

Jeremy Paxman – Michael Parkinson – Alan Johnston – Sir Trevor MacDonald – Jeremy Webb – Peter Hitchens – Jerry Springer – David Aaronovitch – Alan Rusbridger – Esther Rantzen – Alastair Cooke – Jill Abramsom - Jon Snow

 

Sports

Lord Sebastian Coe – Fabio Capello – James Haskell – David Moyes – Sir Jackie Stewart – Mark Cavendish – Max Mosley – Clarke Carlisle - Dwaine Chambers - Roy Hodgson

 

Music and Dance

Brian May – Steven Sondheim – Kissy Sell-Out – Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – Bruce Dickinson – Maestro Valery Gergiev – Diana Yukawa – Darcey Bussell – Frank Turner - Bonnie Tyler

 

Scientists and Academics

Rowan Williams – Richard Dawkins – Professor A.C. Grayling – Peter Singer – Professor Anthony Giddens – Germaine Greer – Professor Stephen Hawking – Sir Roger Penrose – Baroness Susan Greenfield – Tim Hunt – Professor Lord Robert Winston – Professor Alison Richard – Hermann Hauser – Ha Joon Chang - Buzz Aldrin

 

Law

Lord Philips – Justice Antonin Scalia – Lady Justice Arden – Baroness Hale

 

Charity and Activism

Dr Shirin Ebadi – Raheel Raza – Shami Chakrabati – Jesse Jackson – Moazzam Begg – Camila Batmanghelidjh – Ranulph Fiennes – Jimmy Wales - David Bull - Pussy Riot - Laura Bates

 

 

Literary

Salman Rushdie – Bill Bryson – Douglas Adams – Peter Hamilton – James Ellroy – Andy McNab – John Boyne – Neil Gaiman – Jeffrey Archer – Sir Quentin Blake – Peter Hamilton – Michael Frayn 

 

Business

Deborah Meaden – Terry Leahy – Willie Walsh – Lord Alan Sugar – Lord Sainsbury – Lord Levy – Tony Hayward - Theo Paphitis