Famous faces, the clearing process, and staying calm before results day


Most people will agree that A-Level results day will be one of the most stress inducing times of your young-adult life — it exists like a particularly long, drawn out X-Factor results pause. After all, you are patiently holding out to see if your months of hard work have paid off and you’ve been accepted into the university of your choice. There are a number of ways in which you combat the inevitable stress, but we suggest the first things you should do, are two significant things you shouldn’t — sound like a double negative?

Endeavor to not fall into the trap of bottling up your feelings. Remember, thousands of students, your friends, your family, and even the people you aren’t that particularly fond off have been through the exact same situation before. Some come out on top, some have to duck and dive, to get where they want to be, but, everything is achievable. Secondly, don’t try and compete. This is one occasion in life where you can sit and genuinely appreciate the fruits of your own labour, however, the best way to do so, is to be proud of what you’ve achieved. Measuring yourself against the boy four doors down who notched grade eight in the piano at age seven isn’t beneficial to anyone.

However, there are a whole host of figures who negotiate life in front of the paparazzi’s cameras, otherwise known as celebrities, whose journey post A-Level wasn’t as smooth as you might initially be led to believe. In this article, we look at celebrity advice ahead of results day and famous figures who went through the clearing process to get accepted onto their university courses.

Results day twitter

It wouldn’t be A-Level results day in the UK without the bi-annual template style tweet from Grand Tour presenter, Jeremy Clarkson. The motoring enthusiast, who The Sun reported to have a net worth of approximately £30 million in April this year, tweets each year on results day.


Jezza, as he affectionately known, changes the ending of his tweets each twelve months, to include the likes of:

“and I’m currently on a superyacht in the Med”,


“and my chef is preparing truffles for breakfast.”

His, what it appears, disregard for the educational process was met with outrage in 2018, especially from teachers, who discouraged pupils from taking advice from the once Top Gear host, despite how admittedly impressive and unique his case may be.

Olympic Gold medalist Sam Quek, on the other hand, took to social media to provide a considerably more middle of the road comment in regard to results. A graduate in Sports and Exercise Science, Sam, who won gold in field hockey in Rio, insinuated, ‘that she isn’t a fan of telling students A-Level results mean nothing, however, if they weren’t what you hoped for, all is not lost.’

Sam’s advice couldn’t be truer, especially in regard to Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow. Considered to be one of the most influential and talented news presenters on British television, Jon, on his first attempt got a grade C in A-Level English and failed geography. On his second time round, now at a technical college, Jon laid claim to a D in technology and an E in Economics. Eventually, Snow secured a position on a law degree at the University of Liverpool and now exists as one of the most revered figures in media. He commented, “toil in hope and you will get there”.

A-List celebs but no A grade students

Bella Hardy

Critically acclaimed folk musician Bella Hardy admits to not landing her first-choice universities. In fact, Bella took a step back and reassessed her options, during which time she recognised the options which lay ahead in terms of clearing. During an interview with the Independent the artist points to the fact that the clearing process may initially seem stressful, but the most important thing to do is “take a deep breath and make sure you’re embarking on a course that suits you”. Likewise, the now graduate of York St John University places a significant emphasis on enjoyment and fun, otherwise things will just become mundane.

Lizzy Yarnold

Winning consecutive golds at the Winter Olympics in Sochi and PyeongChang is an utterly phenomenal feat, however, Lizzy, who has learnt her trade in the skeleton bobsleigh, didn’t get her first choice. Applying through clearing, many would suggest, was a blessing in disguise for both Lizzy and Team GB. The Kent resident went on to study Geography and Sport Exercise Science at the University of Gloucestershire before capturing the hearts of a nation on the biggest stage of all.

If the above examples aren’t enough to inspire you ahead of results day, then take heed of the message from one of the world’s most influential businessmen. Richard Branson wrote on Instagram, “whether you got the grades you wanted or not, if you do what you love and what you are naturally good at, it will take you far in life”. Don’t be disheartened if the grades don’t get your first choice, the clearing process provides the opportunity for some of the best courses on offer, and you aren’t alone — one in eight students achieve a place through clearing.