TV comedy star Hugh Dennis takes on new role as our Chancellor

16 Feb 2024
Man and woman in front of large rusty brown building

Hugh Dennis, the comedian and actor best known for Outnumbered and Mock the Week, is to become the new Chancellor of the University of Winchester.  

He succeeds TV gardener and writer Alan Titchmarsh MBE, who served as Chancellor for six years. 

The role of Chancellor is an important one within the University, being the honorary head of the institution and presiding over high-profile events such as graduation.   

Hugh is a graduate of St John’s College, Cambridge, where he studied geography. Hugh also has a love of history and presents Channel 4’s community archaeology show, The Great British Dig.  

In recent years he has campaigned to raise funds and awareness for Dementia Friends and the Alzheimer’s Society following a storyline in Outnumbered in which his on-screen father-in-law developed dementia.  

Hugh has close family ties to Winchester and the Cathedral. His father, who was a bishop in the Church of England, spent his retirement in the city and remained active in ministry as an honorary assistant bishop in the diocese.

Students with fencing swordsHugh meets performing arts students who put on a fencing display in the sports hall


Hugh said: "I know the city of Winchester well and it's a great honour to become Chancellor of such a vibrant university. I look forward to meeting the students and staff at graduation and other events."


Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, Professor Sarah Greer, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming a much-loved national treasure as our new Chancellor. Hugh’s love of life and love of learning will be great an inspiration to our students and to the wider University community. We look forward to formally welcoming him into the role and the University in the coming months.”   

Professor Greer hosted Hugh at the University this week when he came to tour the University campus and met some of the University’s performing arts and law students. 

Law students in gowns behind purple desk saying  University of Winchester

Hugh with Law students who displayed their advocacy skills at a moot court

Hugh will be formally installed as Chancellor at a ceremony in the Spring. One of his first official duties will be to preside over some of the University’s graduation ceremonies which will take place in Winchester Cathedral in October.  

Pictured top: The University of Winchester's new Chancellor, Hugh Dennis, with Vice-Chancellor Professor Sarah Greer outside the West Downs Centre.

Photos by Dominic Parkes Photography

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