Where Are They Now?

Richard Whiteley, 1963

Richard Whiteley attended Giggleswick School on a scholarship. He claimed to have known what his career would be from the moment he saw an outside broadcast van on Baildon Moor when aged nine. He went on to read English at Christ’s College, Cambridge University. He served three years as a trainee at ITN but left to join the newly created Yorkshire Television in July 1968.


He went on to present Countdown on Channel 4 - and made more than 10,000 appearances on TV. During his long career he received countless plaudits and awards including an OBE the year before he died which he described as the most exciting two vowels and a consonant of his career. Among his more unusual honours was being made the honourary mayor of Wetwang. Mr Whiteley described his own career high point as the YTV's charity telethon in 1988 when he worked for 27 hours straight before being carried out of the studio shoulder high.


Whiteley was notoriously bitten by a ferret on an edition of Calendar in 1977. The animal remained clamped to his finger for half a minute before its indifferent owner, Brian Plummer, finally prised it free. The clip is often repeated on programmes showing television out-takes. In an example of his famous self-deprecating humour, Whiteley once joked that when he died, the headlines would read, "Ferret man dies", which was the headline of the Yorkshire Post when he did die, in his honour.

Leslie Lockyear, 1980

Leslie went on to read French and Education at Homerton College earning a Bachelors Degree from the University of Cambridge. After a career in fashion which included Jaegar’s graduate management programme and managing Ma Mara’s flagship UK store, Leslie now runs nutrition and lifestyle workshops as well as teaching French. She lives in Yorkshire and has three children. 

Chris Thompson, 2008

Chris left Giggleswick having studied both science and design subjects, preparing him well for a career in Engineering. Having studied engineering, Chris applied for a year in industry at Bentley. During that time he developed many new skills and techniques, and after graduating was welcomed onto the company's Graduate Programme. Chris now travels internationally as a Materials Engineer for Bentley, discovering and testing new materials to be used in their cars.

Phoebe Lebrecht, 2008

Phoebe studied Politics at Newcastle University, graduating in 2012. In her final year she was Captain of the Women's Rugby XV and led them to victory as National Champions. After graduating, Phoebe began a career in communications, initially working in San Francisco with a technology start-up. Whilst heading up their social engagement and communication department, the company was awarded multiple grants and an Edison Award for innovation. Phoebe then returned to London where she founded Glass Digital Media. Glass Digital Media helps companies communicate effectively online. It's mission is to deliver great content to the right audience at the right time. 

James Robinson, 2000

James left Giggleswick to read Music at Worcester College, Oxford, following which he completed a PGCE at the University of Huddersfield. Upon qualifying James spent 7 years teaching Music, mainly at the Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover where he was Director of Music until 2012. A year later James enlisted into the Corps of Army Music and after completing training at the Royal Military School of Music he was assigned to the Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra as a pianist and viola player. In the course of his work he plays for Royal and State occasions including investitures and banquets at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and many other military and diplomatic events.

Andrew Kay, 1988

Sculptor Andrew Kay creates wildlife sculptures from his studio set in Cumbria.  Over the past two decades his work has attracted widespread acclaim with growing numbers of collectors, and now his life-size steel animals can be seen in public and private grounds throughout the world.


The art department and metalwork shop at Giggleswick were a particular draw, with inspiring tutors and abundant materials, so after leaving school he studied for a BA in Design at Leeds, where his love of creating really took hold. After finishing his degree, Andrew headed to Norway on a travel scholarship, where he developed a love of simple Scandinavian design which is evident in his work today. Settling back in Cumbria it took a few years to develop his signature style – his sculptures have been described as ‘sketches in steel’. Today his sculptures are in some of the most beautiful gardens across the world, with herds of Red deer in the US, Mauritius and the Ukraine, to a raging bull in Majorca and wild boar in Versailles. His work can also be seen across the UK, from Sika deer at Colebrooke Park in Northern Ireland to stags gracing distilleries and private estates in Scotland; to something much closer to home, a Shire horse at The Plough in Lupton. 

Sarah Fox, 1992

Sarah was born in Little Howsons and her parents, David and Margaret, taught at Giggleswick for over 40 years. After Gigg, Sarah studied at London University and then the Royal College of Music. She won the Kathleen Ferrier Award in 1997 and the John Christie Award in 2000. In 2012 she was made an Honorary Fellow of Royal Holloway College, London University. 


Her extensive and prestigious concert career has included tours throughout the United Kingdom, Europe & Scandinavia as well as engagement in Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tokyo & Bermuda whilst working with many of the world's leading orchestras.


She has appeared several times at the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh Festival and the Three Choirs Festival. In 2013/14, Sarah was a judge on the hit BBC programme The Choir: Sing While You Work. Sarah is a Governor at Giggleswick School where she advises on Music and the Performing Arts.

Tom Coxon, 2009

Tom graduated with a BA in Architecture from Central Saint Martins in 2013. His training and employment has always been multi-disciplined – after graduating he worked for the architecture studio Stanton Williams, and eventually the National Theatre. This multifaceted and inter-disciplinary approach has been central to Tom’s professional practice. In 2010, Tom’s work was exhibited at the Victorian and Albert Museum, and was then commissioned by the National Trust to create work concerned with widening participation and interaction with their many heritage sites. He was commissioned again by the 2012 Cultural Olympic Committee for a immersive, site-specific and multi-media experience on Canary Wharf. He continued to specialise in interactive theatre events in the West End, working with award-winning theatre company PunchDrunk on A Drowned Man.


Tom was prompted to apply to the National Film and Television School after an award from the Sunday Times for Spirit In Innovation. His MA in Production Design was rigorous – while at the NFTS he worked across a variety of project including stop-motion animation, short fiction films shot digitally and on film, trailers and several virtual reality experiences and games. Tom’s professional Film and Television experience includes Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, Mary Poppins Returns, Swallows and Amazons, McMaffia and Star Wars. 

Katie Fairhall, 1990

Katie is a founder of Katie Bakes; an artisan baking-mix company based in Hampshire. After a degree in commercial property management, Katie worked in London as a chartered surveyor specialising in property investment. Following marriage and a move to the Sotuh Coast, she pursued her passion for cooking and turned her love of baking into a thriving business. 

Peter Drake, 2003

Peter left Gigg to go to the University of Leeds to study Microbiology. He then changed his course to Physiology with three years of American Football and Athletics. After, Peter travelled Eastern Europe before returning to academia at the University of Sheffield where he achieved his Masters in Human Nutrition. Peter was awarded a research commendation and this led neatly onto starting a PhD in Molecular Biology. 

Alice Boult, 2004

After a year at Leeds Metropolitan University, and six years in various jobs in London including roles as an Events Coordinator, a Personal Assistant and Advertising Production Manager at HELLO! Magazine, Alice decided to take a career break in 2011 and go to Bible School. Alice travelled to Perth, Austraia with Youth With A Mission, an international and multi-national Christian organisation which trains and sends missionaries into the world. She taught on an intensive 4-month bible school and co-lead teams to nations where church leaders have little or no access to biblical training. 

Robert Loomes, 1986

The English Watchmaker who creates entirely British-made Timepieces for an International audience. The son of a horologist, Robert Loomes grew up surrounded by clocks and watches. He joined the family business after university and served a traditional apprenticeship under his father. Robert qualified and moved to Stamford in 1993, where he opened restoration workshops specialising in antique clocks and watches, with an international clientele. By 2007, Robert had started building his own wristwatches, and as the business expanded, he was also elected director of Education at the British Horological Institute.


Last year Robert produced the first entirely British manufactured mechanical watch for over 50 years; a huge step forward for the British Watchmaking Industry and the rekindling of a great British tradition.

Jake Potter, 2001

Since leaving Giggleswick, Jake continued his passion for geography and gained a Masters in Geomatics from The University of Glasgow. Deciding on a career as a Hydrographic Surveyor has taken Jacob around the world working on some of the largest vessels ever built, ensuring oil rigs, pipelines and cables are installed in the correct position, as well as carrying out traditional bathymetric surveys. 


In 2010, Jacob moved to the Netherlands and started his own compaby providing hydrographic survey consultancy and services. As a way to remind himself of his Yorkshire roots, he named the company ‘White Rose Survey’.

Isabel Marshall, 2007

Isabel obtained a 2:1 in Biomedical Sciences from Newcastle University. After working for a veterinary neutraceutical company for a short while, she decided to return to work for the family business. Her job as manager of Bentham Golf Club covers a variety of tasks from marketing the club and dealing with customers, to budgeting and working the bar. The role requires extreme versatility, an aspect that Isabel greatly enjoys, as it allows her to experience and understand all areas of the business.

Stuart Lowe, 2004

Stuart always had an interest in mathematics and sciences and is now at the cutting edge of medical research. While focusing on physics at Oriel College, Oxford, he took a final year course in Biophysics and became intrigued by understanding and copying biologically-based materials. His success led him to a PhD in Bioresponsive Nanoparticles at Imperial College London, where he explored the development of quantum dot based biosensors. 

James Burns, 2008

After leaving Giggleswick, James embarked on a non-stop voyage from Canada to Portsmouth, as member of a tall ship crew. Following his return to dry land, he enrolled at the Central Saint Martin's College to begin a foundation Art degree. CSM opened the door to the creative world and allowed James the opportunities to realise that he wanted to work within creative arts, without actually being the artist. Following the completion of his studies, James joined the Bright Group International; an illustration agency representing 180 of the world's best creative individuals. From beginning as the PA to the Managing Director, James is now the Head of Division and taking Bright International to new global sectors. 

Laura Watson, 2006

Laura works as a commercial field archaeologist, an industry she is immensely passionate about and as for most professional archaeologists, it is not a job but a life-style. Her role is to assess the potential for archaeology and then remove and record any features that are uncovered during the investigation if they cannot be preserved in situ. Another aspect of her job is to compile site archives which are then deposited in museums.

Gary Wolstenholme, 1976

Gary Wolstenholme is turned professional at the age of 47. He won the EuroPro Tour event at the age of 49. At 50 he finished third in his first outing on the European Seniors Tour, the Travis Perkins Masters at Woburn. He is the most capped golfer of all time, turning professional at age 47. He has competed in six Walker Cups becoming the highest point scorer for Great Britain and Ireland. In 2007, Gary received an MBE for Services to Sport.

Jonathan Broadbent, 1995

Since graduation from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Jonathan has performed leading roles at most of the major theatres in the UK, including the National Theatre, RSC, Manchester Royal Exchange, Bristol Old Vic and in London's West End. He has worked with Dawn French, Matthew Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Burton & Kathy Burke. He is an associate of Filter Theatre, has filmed two movies with Kenneth Branagh, played Hamlet at the Rose, appeared in Gimme Gimme Gimme, recorded radio plays for the BBC, and voices two characters on Thomas the Tank Engine.

Claudette Baker-Park, 1996

Claudette trained as a Youth Development worker, running a Youth Theatre and Media Company called Acting Up, where she trained and supported young people in performance. In 2009, she attended Stow College completing a HND in Musical Theatre with top marks. Claudette then continued her studies, enrolling in the BA(Hons) Contemporary Screen Acting Course at The University of the West of Scotland, passing her degree with distinction and graduating in 2013. During her studies at the University, Claudette gained credits in radio plays, voice-overs, comedy sketches, music videos, plays and short films.