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It’s no laugh that TV sitcom’s ‘Harper’ quits stage to take on humans rights

PUBLISHED: 14:48 29 October 2015 | UPDATED: 14:48 29 October 2015

TV's Gabriel Thomson now at university

TV's Gabriel Thomson now at university

City & Islington college

TV comedy actor Gabriel Thomson who once starred in the BBC’s My Family sitcom has quit the stage to start life at a top London university.

The 28-year-old from Bow in east London, who played the role of ‘Michael Harper’ in the hit show, got maximum distinctions in a Humanities and Social Science Access to Higher Education diploma course at City & Islington College.

He has now taken up an offer to study Philosophy at King’s College London, hoping to get qualifications to go into human rights.

“Making people laugh is important—but I wanted a career that makes a difference,” he admits.

“I got to the point in my life where I wanted to do something useful. So I am transferring my acting skills to performance in the court room.”

Gabriel plans to take further qualifications after his degree to become a human rights barrister.

He didn’t take A-levels at school because of his acting, but later chose the adult ‘Access’ route which prepares people without traditional qualifications to go to university.

“Many people don’t realise that these courses exist,” Gabriel points out. “They believe there’s no chance of ever going to university if you didn’t do A-levels.

“But it’s never too late to return to education and change your life with ‘Access’ courses.”

He took his course at City & Islington’s Finsbury Park campus which provides a life-changing platform for students from all backgrounds to get to university. ‘Access’ courses instil self-belief and give students “the necessary tools” to function at university.

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