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  1. ITV Report

Famous alumni from Bristol's Old Vic Theatre School

Video report by ITV News Correspondent Nina Nannar

As the UK's oldest working theatre, Bristol's Old Vic, celebrates its 250th anniversary, here is a look at some of the famous faces who honed their skills at its theatre school.

  • Peter O'Toole

Although he was not a student of the Bristol Old Vic, Peter O'Toole began his career at the theatre and performed as part of its theatre company for more than three years, becoming one of its most well-known alumnus. He went on to gain wide recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the theatre.

Peter O'Toole played Hamlet at Bristol Old Vic in 1957. Credit: PA/University of Bristol Theatre Collection.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis

Three-time Oscar-winning Daniel Day-Lewis attended the Bristol Old Vic for three years in the late 1970s.

Daniel Day Lewis performed in Old King Cole in 1979 at Bristol Old Vic Credit: University of Bristol Theatre Collection/PA

He appeared in the production of Old King Cole in 1979 and Class Enemy in 1980.

He only enrolled in the school after he had been turned down for a cabinet-making apprenticeship.

  • Olivia Colman
Credit: PA

Bafta-winning actress Olivia Colman graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 1999 before embarking on her television career, playing Sophie in the sitcom Peep Show and later Ellie Miller in Broadchurch.

  • Brian Blessed
The larger than life actor trained at the theatre school with Peter O'Toole and Patrick Stewart. Credit: Reuters

'Flash' actor Brian Blessed trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School alongside his friends Patrick Stewart and Peter O'Toole.

He told ITV News that he thinks the theatre is "magical" and the "most beautiful theatre in the world":

  • Samantha Bond
Samantha Bond

The actress, who played Moneypenny in the James Bond films starring Pierce Brosnan, trained at the school.

Samantha Bond performing in the 'The Rivals' in 1986 opposite the actor Martin Clunes. Credit: University of Bristol Theatre Collection

Two other Miss Moneypenny actresses, Naomie Harris and Caroline Bliss also trained at the esteemed theatre school.

Spectre and Skyfall actress Naomie Harris also trained at the theatre school. Credit: PA
  • Miranda Richardson
Credit: PA

Golden Globe winning Miranda Richardson enrolled in the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School alongside Daniel Day-Lewis.

She then went into repertory theatre before landing her first major film role as Ruth Ellis in Dance With a Stranger. She is said to have turned down the lead role in Fatal Attraction to play Queenie in Blackadder.

  • Jeremy Irons

The Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons trained at the Old Vic before going on to star in TV shows and films including Brideshead Revisited, Reversal of Fortune and Elizabeth I.

Jeremy Irons in Hay Fever (1970) at Bristol Old Vic. Credit: University of Bristol Theatre Collection.

He will return to the theatre later this year starring alongside Lesley Manville in Long Day's Journey Into Night, directed by Richard Eyre.

Old Vic alumni Jeremy Irons will return to the theatre as part of the 250th anniversary programme. Credit: Bristol Old Vic/Seamus Ryan
  • Sir Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart was just 17 when he joined the theatre school. Credit: PA

Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart joined the theatre school aged just 17 in 1957.

At the school he landed his first significant role in Treasure Island in 1959 before moving on to repertory theatre companies before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966.

  • Pete Postlethwaite
Pete Postlethwaite (pictured left) in Bingo at Bristol Old Vic in 1979 and receiving an OBE in 2004 (right). Credit: University of Bristol Theatre Collection/PA

Pete Postlethwaite resigned from his teaching position to join the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 1970. “Bristol was the only drama school I applied to… two of the best years of my life, I had a fantastic time,” he said.

After his death, his family established a scholarship fund to honour his legacy supporting acting students facing financial hardship during their training.

  • Amanda Redman
Amanda Redman and her daughter Emily are Bristol Old Vic alumni. Credit: PA

The New Tricks actress trained at the theatre school in the before embarking on an illustrious theatre, television and film career.

Her daughter Emily Glenister followed in her footsteps and graduated from the school in 2010.

"I couldn’t have been happier," she said. "Just like my mum, I felt it was completely the right place for me. And it was oddly reassuring, each day, to see a picture of her mum on a notice board displaying successful former pupils. I’d look up and see her lovely face smiling down at me. I’d walk past and quietly say, 'Mornin’ Mum!' It was a brilliant start to each day."