GCSE results day: the highs and lows of GCSE results from the world of show-business

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Who from the world of showbiz and sport attained good GCSE grades during their results day? And who didn’t do quite so well?

Last week it was A Level students nervously receiving their results, but today a younger sect of British schoolchildren will learn what’s next for the educational path as GCSE results start to be handed out across the country. With it, of course, the prospect of free food also - be it for celebrations or commiserations.

This year marks the second time exams were sat after COVID-19 restrictions saw the 2020 and 2021 exams cancelled and many will look to see if last year’s percentage of pupils will be eclipsed this year. Ofqual reported that 73.0% of students attained a grade of C or above, the largest passing rate for exams being sat from data going back to 2016, but down from those Coronavirus figures of 2020 and 2021 (75.9% and 73.6% respectively.)

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But there are warnings that today might be a shock for a number of students, with around 300,000 fewer top grades could be awarded this week, an education expert has said. Speaking to Sky News, Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research (CEER) at the University of Buckingham, said pupils and parents may be in for a "shock" as grading standards return to 2019 levels.

Ofqual have also warned families that there will be a return to pre-pandemic grading means this year's national GCSE results in England will be lower than last year and similar to levels in 2019 - the year before the coronavirus outbreak. That’s led now to call for changes to the grading system, especially in the fields of English and Math, to avoid “penalising” those who have not attained the grades required to enter some forms of further education.

While we’ve ventured into the world of entertainment and sports picking up who didn’t do quite so well in their A-Level results, this week we take a look at who did exceptionally well and those who took a different path to where they are today after receiving less-than-stellar GCSE results. 

Who did well in their GCSE exams?

Emma Watson

Emma Watson, known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, achieved exceptional results in her GCSEs. She managed to earn eight A* grades and two A grades. She then went on to attend Brown University, an Ivy League institution located in Providence, Rhode Island, in the United States, graduating in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in English literature

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Jodie Marsh

Jodie Marsh attends the world premiere of 'Michael Jackson: The Life Of An Icon' at The Empire Cinema on November 2, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)Jodie Marsh attends the world premiere of 'Michael Jackson: The Life Of An Icon' at The Empire Cinema on November 2, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
Jodie Marsh attends the world premiere of 'Michael Jackson: The Life Of An Icon' at The Empire Cinema on November 2, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

As they say - assumptions make something out of you and I, and in the case of Jodie Marsh, that is indeed the case. The former model and TV personality, performed remarkably well in her GCSEs. Despite facing challenges such as being bullied at school, she attained impressive results. Jodie received a total of 11 GCSEs, and all of them were at the A and A* grades.

Tom Daley

Tom Daley, a British Olympic gold medal-winning diver, demonstrated his commitment to both sports and education during his GCSEs. He achieved five A* grades and two A grades. These exceptional results are even more impressive given that he balanced his rigorous diving training with his academic responsibilities - succeeding in both.

Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly:

The popular British presenting duo, Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly (Ant & Dec), received identical GCSE results. Both Ant and Dec earned three B grades and two C grades. Perhaps not the greatest set of results compared to our other examples, but given that they were already television stars with “Byker Grove” and “The Ant and Dec” show (plus their music careers), it was still an impressive feat.

Who didn’t do quite so well in their GCSE exams?

Cheryl

The artist known as Cheryl Tweedy, the well-known singer and former member of Girls Aloud, left school without obtaining any GCSEs. Despite not having formal qualifications from her school years, Cheryl went on to achieve significant success in the music industry and as a public figure after her initial appearance on “Popstars: The Rivals” in 2002.

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Gemma Collins

Gemma Collins, a TV personality and former cast member of "The Only Way Is Essex" (TOWIE), faced challenges in her academic journey. She received a U (Ungraded) in her Maths GCSE. Despite this, Gemma later embraced her unique path and pursued a successful career in entertainment, becoming a household name and going to garner a number of endorsements

Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams attends Chopard ART Evening at the Martinez on May 23, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Chopard)Robbie Williams attends Chopard ART Evening at the Martinez on May 23, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Chopard)
Robbie Williams attends Chopard ART Evening at the Martinez on May 23, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Chopard) | Getty Images for Chopard

Robbie Williams, a renowned singer and entertainer, faced difficulties in his academic pursuits. He reportedly failed all of his GCSE exams. Despite these challenges, Robbie found his calling in the music industry and went on to become a global pop star with both Take That and also his incredible solo career.

Holly Willoughby

Holly Willoughby, co-host of "This Morning," faced challenges related to dyslexia during her school years. Despite this, she managed to study psychology at university. She found ways to cope with her dyslexia, including using coloured paper and focusing on her strengths. Holly's ability to succeed despite her challenges is a testament to her determination and resilience.

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