Marc Jacobs, Sir Ian McKellen and Anthony Scaramucci among this term’s Union speakers

Emeli Sandé and Liv Tyler also among first names released

Clockwise from right: Kevin Rudd, Senator Orrin Hatch, Emili Sandé, Anthony Sacramucci and Monica Lewinsky.

Marc Jacobs, Sir Ian McKellen and Anthony Scaramucci are among the speakers that will appear at the Oxford Union this Michaelmas term, Cherwell can exclusively reveal.

Singer Emeli Sandé and American film director J. J. Abrams are also set to appear.

They are some of the first names to be revealed from the Union’s term card of individual speaker events, which includes figures from the world of fashion, sport, and politics. The list will be released in full on Sunday.

Figures of note include a joint address by Marc Jacobs and Edward Enninful, heavyweights of the fashion industry: Enninful is the incoming editor of British Vogue and Jacobs is known for his fashion label and range of fragrances.

Prominent American politicians are also due to speak this term, with Donald Trump’s loudmouth former director of communications Anthony Scaramucci appearing in second week and veteran US Senator Orrin Hatch speaking in November.

The actor Sir Ian McKellen, known for his appearances in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, will return to the Union following a famous appearance in 2014 which saw him recite the legendary Gandalf line: “You shall not pass”.

J. J. Abrams, the director of the Star Trek reboot and latest Star Wars films, is among the rest of the highlights from the world of film. The American actress Liv Tyler will also be appearing.

The Union has announced an open period up to 19 October, when all Oxford University and Brookes students can attend debates and speaker events for free. Access to events after this date is limited to members.

The full release is expected on Sunday.

Who’s speaking

1Marc Jacobs and Edward Enninful

Fashion lovers will be delighted to see veteran designer Marc Jacobs speak alongside British Vogue editor Edward Enninful on Friday 6 October at 20:00.

Creative director of Louis Vuitton until 2014, Jacobs is best known for his fashion label and line of retail stores. Enninful took over British Vogue after Alexandra Shulman’s retirement earlier this year.

2Kevin Rudd

Twice Labour prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd is a heavyweight figure in Australian politics who oversaw his government’s apology to indigenous Australians after winning a landslide in the 2007 election. Forced to resign following internal tensions, Rudd was a candidate for Secretary-General of the United Nations and is now a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Rudd will speak at the Union on Wednesday 11 October at 20:00.

3Anthony Scaramucci

Popularly known as “The Mooch”, Scaramucci was appointed Communications Director in the Trump White House on July 21, before a controversial interview led to his firing just ten days later.

The Mooch was also previously accused of connections to a Russian investment firm by CNN, although these allegations were ultimately retracted.

Scaramucci will speak at the Union on Monday 16 October at 20:00.

4J. J. Abrams

The director behind the Star Trek reboot and the latest Star Wars films, J. J. Abrams has a storied career in science fiction both on the big and small screen.

Abrams won two Emmy Awards for the hit TV show Lost, and through Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the director of the third highest-grossing film of all time.

He will speak at the Union on Wednesday 18 October at 20:00.

5Sir Ian McKellen

Photo: Jack McGuire

Cambridge alumnus Ian McKellen, best known for his roles as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies and as Magneto in the X-Men films, is an English actor who has in recent years become a champion of LGBT rights.

McKellen, from Burnley in Lancashire, began his career in theatre in the 1960s, but became widely recognised for his film roles in the 1990s.

Patron of Oxford Pride and a co-founder of Stonewall, Sir Ian McKellen will be speaking at the Oxford Union on Wednesday 8 November at 20:00.


6Emeli Sandé

Emeli Sandé.

Scottish singer Emeli Sandé was studying for a Medicine degree at Edinburgh University before shooting to fame in 2011 with a host of chart-topping songs including ‘Read All About It’ with Professor Green and ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’ with Labrinth. Her debut album, Our Version of Events, was the biggest-selling album of 2012, shifting over one million copies.

She released her second album Long Live the Angels last year, and was awarded Best British Solo Artist at the 2017 Brit Awards. Earlier this year, she was also decorated with an MBE for services to the music industry. Her songwriting career has seen her pen songs for Rihanna, Leona Lewis and Tinchy Stryder, among others.

She will be speaking at the Union on Monday 13 November at 20:00.

7Orrin Hatch

Photo: United States Congress

Utah senator Orrin Hatch is president pro tempore of the United States Senate and most senior Republican senator, in office since 1977.

A long-term advocate of balanced budgets, Hatch is notable for sponsoring several constitutional amendment attempts to ban budget deficits.

As president pro tempore of the Senate, Hatch is the second highest ranking official in the Senate and is empowered to preside over the Senate in the vice president’s absence.

Hatch will be speaking at the Union on Friday 17 November at 17:00.

8Monica Lewinsky

Photo: Damon Winter/The New York Times, provided by the Oxford Union)

American activist and fashion designer, Monica Lewinsky rose to fame after President Bill Clinton admitted to having an “inappropriate relationship” with her whilst she was working as a White House intern in the 1990s.

Press coverage of the ensuing scandal saw Lewinsky engage in a number of public ventures including a line of handbags and an advertising role for a diet plan.

After completing a master’s degree in psychology at the LSE, Lewinsky has since become a social activist speaking out against cyberbullying.

Lewinsky will speak at the Union on Thursday 16 November at 15:00.

9Liv Tyler

Model and actress Liv Tyler first achieved critical recognition for her role in Stealing Beauty, but achieved widespread fame with her portrayal of Arwen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Making her television debut on the HBO series The Leftovers, Tyler has served as a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador for the United States. She will appear in the BBC miniseries Gunpowder alongside Kit Harrington next year.

Tyler will appear at the Union on Wednesday 29 November at 17:00.