Former British Prime Minister Macmillan has called the Oxford Union “the last bastion of free speech in the Western World.” The most famous debating chamber on Earth has witnessed some of history’s most prominent figures, from the Dalai Lama to Winston Churchill and from Richard Nixon to Professor Stephen Hawking.

However the Oxford Union has hosted some more unusual guests. Here at the Oxford Scholastica Academy, we have chosen our top 5 most unconventional speakers:

  • Kermit the Frog – “I figured if Ronald Reagan could do it so could I” – so said Kermit in 1994 as he became the first green amphibian to address the Union. The Muppet Show star explained, “When I was a tadpole, I had over four thousand brothers and sisters, so my parents couldn’t afford to send me to university. Like most frogs, I could have gone into Biology and majored in dissection, but I wasn’t really cut out for that”.
  • Psy – with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon hailing the Gangnam Style dance as a “force for world peace”, students at the Oxford Union had a chance to learn these moves.
  • MC Hammer – the rapper behind the classic 90s hit “U Can’t Touch This” charmed students with a visit where he proclaimed that his iconic “hammer pants” were back in fashion.
  • David Blaine – this famous magician had the Union’s audience mesmerised when he revealed the meaning of his stunts and tricks. Sadly, his speech was delivered from the Union’s floor, not hanging upside down in a perspex box.
  • Michael Jackson – unfortunately having recently broken his foot before his talk in 2001, the Union were not able to see an impromptu moonwalk from the King of Pop.

Photo by The Value Web Photo Gallery (CC BY 2.0)