After McMullan & Gove... other unlikely classmates

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One of the more unusual snippets of information from the Leveson Inquiry has been that NOTW whistleblower Paul McMullan and Michael Gove were at college together...

Stewart Lee and Richard Hammond

Mordant comic Stewart Lee attended the £9,400 a-year Solihull School in Birmingham with Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond. But the old school tie has failed to create a life-long bond between Lee and "the Hamster".

In an Edinburgh festival show, Lee performed a routine about the 2006 crash which left Hammond suffering brain damage. "I wish he had died in that crash and that he had been decapitated and that his head had rolled off in front of his wife and that a jagged piece of metal debris from the car had got stuck in his eye and blinded him," Lee said.

The comic accused the Top Gear team of being "bullies" whose anti-political correctness humour made them ripe for a provocative counter-attack. "It's a joke. But coincidentally it's also what I believe." Hammond has yet to respond.

Paris Hilton and Lady Gaga

They're both Catholics but that's about the only thing which the socialite heiress Paris Hilton and a young Lady Gaga had in common when they were thrust into school together in New York.

Stefani Germanotta was a self-proclaimed "freak" at the exclusive Convent of the Sacred Heart school on the Upper East Side. The famously air-headed Hilton was a transplanted Valley Girl on a path to reality show notoriety.

Gaga recalled: "I was the smart, studious theatre and music student. I didn't hang out with all the popular blonde girls. I wasn't blonde really until I was 20. People assume that all the girls who went to my school were like Paris, and the truth is that I went to a very, very religious school and some girls were very artistic and some did drugs and didn't give a f**k."

Paris, it might be assumed, fell into the latter category.

Rob Brydon and Catherine Zeta-Jones

Rob Brydon failed to make an impression on the Hollywood-bound Catherine Zeta-Jones when they were pupils at Dumbarton House School in Wales. Stealing her lunch money didn't help.

The comic actor told BBC News: "When I was 10 or 11 or 12, I was going into school one day and Catherine's mother said, 'I've forgotten to give Catherine her lunch money, will you give it to her?' I said I would.

I went to the shop to get my lunch and then went to buy sweets. I bought pineapple chunks or cola cubes and I thought I had a lot of money, then realised it was money for Catherine."

Dan Brown and David Foster Wallace

Their prose style and literary ambitions couldn't be more different but novelists Dan Brown and David Foster Wallace took the undergrad writing programme at Amherst College, Massachusetts together in the early 1980s. Wallace, hailed as one of the greatest stylists of his generation, published his densely-packed masterpiece Infinite Jest, aged 33. It is not known if Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008, critiqued the student work of Brown, who used the class to learn how to construct potboilers.

Their Amherst teacher Alan Lelchuk said of the Da Vinci Code author, who went on to sell 80 million books: "He was not the star of the class, as David was, as were one or two others who were really quite good. Dan was good. But in a much quieter way."

Cameron Diaz and Snoop Dogg

When aspiring model Cameron Diaz enrolled at the Long Beach Polytechnic High School in California, the blonde starlet was instantly drawn to a striking pupil from the other side of the tracks, Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr.

The film star later recalled: "He was very tall and skinny and wore lots of ponytails in his hair and I'm pretty sure I got weed from him. I had to have!"

Broadus, nicknamed Snoop Dogg because of his appearance, was a member of a Crips gang and was convicted of cocaine trafficking, serving six months, after graduating from school.

Diaz said she put the experience to use in her recent film Bad Teacher where she played a marijuana-smoking teacher. Snoop remains one of the rap world's best loved figures after a 20 year-career.

Louis Theroux and Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg's contemporaries at the £28,000-a-year Westminster School included Helena Bonham Carter and rock singer Gavin Rossdale. But it was the faux-naïve television presenter Louis Theroux who made the greatest impression.

Theroux said he was the Deputy Prime Minister's "fag", a younger pupil charged with performing servant duties such as waking Clegg up and handing him his newspaper. Theroux claimed: "People sleep in different ways and with Nick Clegg the thing was that he was a very deep sleeper. I would bend over him and kind of push him."

However Clegg said: "I have no recollection of Louis Theroux waking me up in the morning." Clegg, Louis and Theroux's elder brother Marcel became friends, setting off on an American road trip together.

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