Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

10 unlikely Oxford Union speakers

hero.jpg
hero-4.jpg
hero-2.jpg
hero-3.jpg

It's been described as "the last bastion of free speech in the Western world," and over the past two centuries the world-famous Oxford Debating Union has certainly lived up to its name, with a series of landmark and inspirational addresses.

But among the politicians of tomorrow and major world figures such as Malcolm X and Mother Teresa, a sprinkling of more unusual keynote speakers have been persuaded to the podium. From porn stars and glamour models to cartoon characters, read on for details of pop culture guests who have spiced up the legendary Oxford University debate floor over the years...

Picture credits: Rex Features

Katie Price

Voracious self-promoter Katie Price is the latest in a string of unusual names to address the Oxford Union.

The 33-year-old tabloid queen will take to the podium on Wednesday (12 October), with the society hoping she will elaborate on "the journey our speaker has made from being Jordan the glamour model to becoming Katie Price the brand."

Kermit the Frog

"I figured if Ronald Reagan could do it so could I" - so proclaimed Kermit the Frog as he prepared to become the first amphibian to address the union in 1994.

Wearing a mortarboard and gown, The Muppet Show star explained why he had never made it to college. "When I was a tadpole, I had over four thousand brothers and sisters, so my parents couldn't afford to send me to university...," he said. "Like most frogs, I could have gone into Biology and majored in dissection, but I wasn't really cut out for that."

Ron Jeremy

Having starred in over 1,700 adult films, king of adult entertainment Ron Jeremy appeared at the union in 2005 to share pearls of wisdom on all things porn.

"As long as you can look cute, the girls like you, you can get a nice erection, you’re done," he told an audience of some of the brightest brains in Britain. "Be clean cut, be very hygienic, smell a lot, give a good sex scene, make the girl like you by being very polite and sweet."

Jenna Jameson

"Queen of porn" Jenna Jameson played a starring role in a 2001 Oxford Union debate titled "The House believes that porn is harmful."

Despite predicting she would be "out of her depth," Jenna swept the floor in the pro argument by a vote of 204-27. In a double whammy victory, her porn movie Briana Loves Jenna was simultaneously enjoying a run as the most rented adult entertainment video of the year.

MC Hammer

The man behind U Can’t Touch This - the eponymous hit of the 90s - delighted students with a personal visit to Oxford Union last year.

Among other things, the rapper addressed the weighty issue of his iconic "hammer pants": "They’re good pants!" he said. "They’re comfortable, and they’re back in fashion now."

The Cheeky Girls

Touch My Bum double act The Cheeky Girls brought their own unique brand of charm to the Oxford Union in a 2008 debate titled "with celebrity comes great responsibility."

Arguing against Rebecca Loos, David Beckham's former PA, the duo told the audience: "Celebrities have a moral responsibility to set a good example. You don't find pictures of us in the tabloids falling out of the clubs at four o'clock in the morning. If we behaved like that, we would definitely get more press."

Pamela Anderson

Baywatch star Pamela Anderson popped by the Oxford Union in October 2010, to talk about a cause close to her heart - vegetarianism.

"We were talking about the easiest ways to go vegetarian," Pammy, who spoke alongside Dan Matthews from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), said. "I think we had a really profound effect on the audience."

Anna Wintour

She's one of the most feared fashion editors in the world, but Vogue figurehead Anna Wintour was the one gushing when she appeared at the Union in 2008, telling the audience: "You're Oxford students, amazing."

A reportedly "nervous" Ms Wintour went onto talk about how an interest in fashion was not shallow. And she even took her sunglasses off.

Jodie Marsh

Page 3 pin-up turned body builder Jodie Marsh put her debating skills to the test at Oxford Union in 2008.

The tanned one appeared alongside David Gest in arguing for the principle: "This House would rather be good-looking than good."

OJ Simpson

In what some saw as a desperate attempt to overhaul his tarnished image, OJ Simpson addressed the Oxford Union in 1996 - just six months after being acquitted of the murder of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson, in a highly controversial court ruling.

The football player appeared before a packed auditorium and spoke about racism in the LA police department. He also said he was sorry for hitting his wife.

Related

Untitled-4.jpg

X Factor: the final 16's pop star look-a-likes

Michelle-Williams-Marilyn-Monroe.jpg

12 takes on Marilyn Monroe

hero-2.jpg

Animal attraction: 10 dogs that woo women

Comments

More

The Dynasty reboot you've all been dreaming of is coming to Netflix

Big hair, big shoulder pads, big drama

by Nicola Colyer
23 Jun 2017

Lady Gaga just proved that she really isn't like the rest of us

Not your average hiking gear

by Nicola Colyer
23 Jun 2017

Bill Cosby will give talks on how to avoid sexual assault allegations

“They need to know... when they are doing certain things they shouldn’t be doing.”

by Amy Swales
23 Jun 2017

Everything we know about the Downton Abbey film so far

Next year, people. NEXT YEAR.

by Nicola Colyer
23 Jun 2017

White House responds to claims the Queen “snubbed” President Trump

But did the Queen really do this on purpose?

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Ellen DeGeneres catches audience member stealing, publicly shames her

Top tip? Don’t steal from Ellen DeGeneres

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick lined up for new thriller

"A feverish and expertly plotted tale of psychological suspense"

by Nicola Colyer
22 Jun 2017

We bloody love Kate Beckinsale’s hilarious Manspreading Action Plan

She knows exactly what to do when a man spreads his legs

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

This is what Amanda Knox’s Instagram account looks like

The Seattle native has made her feed public

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Prince Harry is still haunted by memories of Princess Diana’s funeral

‘I don’t think any child should be asked to do what I did’

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017