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University Chancellor Lord Attenborough celebrates 80th birthday

* 20 August 2003 *

University Chancellor Lord Attenborough celebrates 80th birthday

Lord Attenborough, the Chancellor of the University of Sussex, celebrates his 80th birthday next week (Friday 29 August).

Lord Attenborough became Chancellor in 1999 after a long association with the University of Sussex. In the late 1960s, while filming Oh! What a Lovely War in the Brighton area, Attenborough used many of the students from the university as extras. Two of Attenborough's three children are Sussex graduates.

To mark his birthday, the BBC is screening a two-part Arena programme entitled 'The Many Lives of Richard Attenborough' on Sunday 24th and Monday 25th August at 8pm.

The programmes trace Attenborough's remarkable career from his earliest film roles such as Brighton Rock, his debut film as director Oh! What a Lovely War in 1969 and the Oscar winning film Gandhi in 1982.

His role as Chancellor of the University of Sussex is highlighted in the second Arena programme, which includes footage of this year's summer graduation ceremony at the Dome in Brighton.

A private birthday party for Lord Attenborough, along the theme Oh! What a Lovely Party, is taking place at the university in early September. It will also be a fundraising event to help students from low-income and under-represented ethnic minority backgrounds to study at university.

* Notes for editors *

Richard Attenborough was awarded the CBE in 1967, Knighted in 1976 and made a Life Peer in 1993.

Photographs of Lord Attenborough are available.

Press Office contacts: Peter Simmons or Jacqui Bealing, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, email or

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