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Richard Branson, Holly Willoughby and other successful celebrities who failed school exams

With GCSE and A-level exam season just around the corner, millions of nervous students are busy revising and preparing to put their knowledge to the test. It’s no secret that exams can be difficult and passing them is not easy.

For those struggling with exams, it might bring some relief to know they are not alone. There have been many successful celebrities over the years who have failed their exams but are now doing very well for themselves.




From Sir Richard Branson to Simon Cowell, several celebrities who are now inspiring students did not achieve the initial education they wanted. Below is a look at some of the most successful celebrities who failed their exams.

Sir Richard Branson

After a rough ride at school, Richard Branson left school at 16. He claims his manager told him he would either go to jail or become a millionaire.

A few years later, he launched his first business, a magazine called “Student”. He currently owns Virgin Atlantic, one of the largest airlines globally and has a $2.5 billion network.

Robbie Williams

Despite being predicted to gain As and Bs in English, history and geography, Take That star Robbie Williams ultimately flunked, failing all his GCSEs at high school. Reflecting on his journey to the Mirror, Robbie remarked: “If I went back to college, long before this, I’d go back and do all my GCSEs – I failed them all.”

Jake Humphrey

Jake Humphrey did well during his GCSEs. However, when it came to A-Levels, it was a different story.

Since then, he has been remarkably outspoken and vocal on social media, tweeting: “A level students — remember your results do not and will not define you. In 1999, I got an E, N, and U for myself. Things didn’t turn out too bad…”