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Yvette Vanson

Yvette Vanson, Kingston University

This month we catch up with Yvette Vanson (BA Social Science, 1979). She talks us through her time at Kingston studying Social Science. Since 2004 Yvette has been an artist and in 2013 had two successful London exhibitions.

When were you at Kingston?

1976 – 1979.

What degree did you do?

BA Social Science. I was the first student to gain a First on the course.

Why did you choose Kingston?

It was local and had an interesting course.

What do you remember about your time at Kingston? In three words.  

Stimulating, challenging and fun!

Are you still in touch with anyone from your Kingston days?

Yes I met two of my best friends (who have been married since) on the first day of the course. They live in Switzerland now and I visit regularly.

What did you expect to do after graduating? Are you still doing that now?

I had no idea until I met two guys in a lift in my final year who worked in the TV studio. I made a documentary with them for my final thesis and it went from there – a 25 year career in the media!

Who was your favourite lecturer and why?

Bob Sutcliffe – brilliant, provocative, a great lecturer, fun and a socialist.

What's your greatest achievement?

My son, Freddy who is a primary school teacher. Also for winning a BAFTA in 2000 for best drama 'The Murder of Stephen Lawrence'.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Do what you did... be honest, principled and fight for your beliefs against injustice wherever you encounter it.

What last made you laugh?

It's a Mad World my Masters by Middleton – my dear friend Ishia Bennison is in it touring with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). It's really rude and hilarious... all about sex and money – nothing changes!

What's your ideal weekend?

Trip to an art gallery, lunch with a good friend and bottle of wine, relaxing and chatting, listening to Antonio Forcione at the 606 Jazz Club in Chelsea and a very good laugh.

You are to live out your final days on a desert island…

Who would you take with you and why? (one person only)

My lover (my son should really not have to be marooned with his mother!)

What book would you take and why?

Master and Margarita by Bulgakov – a wonderfully surreal tale which exposes, via magic realism, the depths of Stalinist tyranny and corruption in Russia.

What movie would you take and why?

Currently Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson – because we should never give up on love no matter what our age or what befalls us.

What food item would you take and why?

A huge bowl of fruit and veg (I am veggie) because it's delicious but also to remind me that our planet does not have to be destroyed by corporate greed or methane from animals reared for consumption, or fossil fuels - but can become a sustainable haven for all creatures.

Tell us something would never guess about you

I am quite shy with strangers.

Contact us

Development, Alumni Relations and Events
Kingston University
53–57 High Street
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 1LQ

Alumni relations:
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3178
Email us

Fundraising and Annual Fund:
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3299
Email us

Any other queries:
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3664

Contact us

Development, Alumni Relations and Events
Kingston University
53–57 High Street
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 1LQ

Alumni relations:
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3178
Email us

Fundraising and Annual Fund:
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3299
Email us

Any other queries:
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3664

Share your news

We love hearing from all Kingston graduates – no piece of news is too big or small, so whatever you have done or are about to do, email us and let us know!

Contact us

Development, Alumni Relations and Events
Kingston University
53–57 High Street
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 1LQ

Alumni relations:
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3178
Email us

Fundraising and Annual Fund:
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3299
Email us

Any other queries:
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3664

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