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Don’t worry, A-level students, privileged celebrities got bad results too

As students across the country get their A Level results, the tired tradition of a Jeremy Clarkson tweet is there to help them through it

This year’s A-level students have picked up a record-high number of A and A* results despite the Covid-19 disruption.

But for those who didn’t get the grades they are after, there’s no need to worry. The UK’s celebrities, either unabashed or unaware of the privilege which has powered their careers, are on-hand to boast about their riches.

Like clockwork, steak lover and former primetime TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson led the way.

This year Clarkson’s humble-brag centred on his flash car. He tweeted: “If the teachers didn’t give you the A level results you were hoping for, don’t worry. I got a C and 2Us and I’ve ended up happy, with loads of friends and a Bentley.”

If that doesn’t provide consolation, Clarkson, who is reportedly worth almost £50 million, has plenty of other annual offerings over the years to ease the pain.

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Take last year’s admission that Clarkson was building a “large house with far reaching views of the Cotswolds”. Or the photo of the French chateau he had rented for the summer in 2019.

In 2018 he was deciding which of his Range Rovers to use while students picked up their results and a year earlier his chef was preparing truffles for breakfast.

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If you got a C and 2 Us for A-Level results you too can look forward to holidaying at a villa in San Tropez or on a super yacht in the Mediterranean, just like Clarkson’s 2015 and 2016 efforts. Just as long as you also went to a school that costs £10,000 a term and get a starting job in an international family business.

Clarkson’s tweets were certainly inspirational but perhaps not in the manner he intended, as thousands jumped in for the annual trolling that follows his traditional A-level claims.

One user even tweeted their own version of a French chateau in response.

Clarkson was not the only well-meaning celeb to offer words of comfort.

GB News presenter and businesswoman Michelle Dewberry shared the story of her £60k pay cut for winning The Apprentice as a defining and inspirational moment of her path to success.

“And for what it’s worth, I left school with practically nothing, was earning £160k aged 23 & took a £60k pay DROP when I won@bbcapprentice@Lord_Sugar,” Dewberry said.

“I’ve since done many things & am now in a position to do only whatever I choose.”

But there were some more sensible suggestions from the blue-tick brigade on social media.

Businessman Theo Paphitis, a veteran of fellow BBC business series Dragon’s Den, also weighed in with words of comfort.

His career has taken him to knickers with La Senza, stationery with Ryman and FA Cup Finals with Millwall. Quite the journey for anyone to imagine at 18.

Paphitis tweeted: “For those receiving their results this week, I’ll say the same thing to you that I’d tell young Theo…Success means different things to different people and it comes in many shapes and sizes – ultimately the world is your oyster!”

Comedian Rob Beckett kept it serious on Twitter with his message of hard work.

He said: “Your A-Levels results don’t really matter. As long as you worked hard and tried your best. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Keep grafting and believe in yourself and you’ll have a good life.”

Fellow comic Sooz Kempner stuck to the day job with her effort. “I absolutely smashed my A-levels and now I live in my mum’s spare room tweeting for coins,” she tweeted.

And television presenter Steph McGovern shared helpful tips and advice in a Twitter thread ahead of the morning’s results release, urging followers to check out the Northern Council for Further Education for help and guidance.

Sadly, if the A Level results did turn your stomach, McGovern’s not able to help with any on-air advice – her Channel 4 Packed Lunch show is off the air until next month.

“We don’t all have to follow the same path in life to have a rewarding career. In fact, the world is a richer place if we don’t all do the same. So you do you,” said McGovern.

While the well-meaning messages of support might grind – or miss the intended target entirely for teenagers more likely to be found on TikTok than Twitter – it’s true that grades don’t have to define futures.

The Big Issue’s Becky Barnes spoke to youth employment experts to find out what skills are really of value. She found that academia is not the be all and end all with communication, team work, problem solving and self-management all “absolutely critical”.

And if you’re really stuck for where to go next, read Becky’s helpful guide to all your options. There’s a lot!

Get career tips and advice from our Jobs and Training series:

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