Esther O'Loughlin 17 Nov 2017 09:37am

Six stars who started out as accountants

It might be difficult to imagine any of these familiar faces sitting behind a desk, but at one point all of them planned a future in finance
Caption: Janet Jackson says if she wasn't singing she would be a number cruncher. Photography: Shutterstock Images
Eddie Izzard – comedian

Before taking on comedy full-time, Izzard attempted to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a chartered accountant.

He attended University of Sheffield, but unfortunately didn’t pass his exams. Accountancy’s loss was comedy’s gain as he has been at the vanguard of alternative comedy for the past 20 years.

Mick Jagger – Singer

When The Rolling Stones were just starting out on the rock and roll scene, the band’s frontman was busy balancing music with maths. Jagger studied accounting and finance at the London School of Economics on a scholarship, but left the course early to join his mate Keith in a blues band. The rest is history.

Janet Jackson – singer

Perhaps the oddest inclusion on the list considering the Jackson 5's sibling probably didn’t need the money. Although she didn’t stick with it, the skills clearly came in useful. As well as performing, she is a successful entrepreneur and is noted for her philanthropy. She still maintains that, “If I wasn’t singing, I’d probably be an accountant”.

John Grisham – author

A knowledge of tax has really paid off for this best–selling writer, whose finance-themed non-fiction includes The Firm and The Pelican Brief. Grisham received his undergraduate degree in accounting before enrolling at the University Of Mississippi School Of Law, to become a tax lawyer.

Apparently, the job wasn’t quite gripping enough for him and he instead chose to focus on writing novels.

N'Golo Kanté – footballer

Before winning back-to-back Premier League titles with Leicester City and Chelsea, N’Golo Kanté was busy training to be an accountant.

Despite his current status as one of Europe’s top midfielders, the Chelsea player was unsure about his prospects several years ago.

In an interview about his life outside of football with the club’s magazine, he revealed that he studied accountancy while playing for Championnat National team Boulogne.

Chuck Liddell – MMA/UFC fighter

In addition to being a mixed martial artist and having a FCA light-heavyweight championship under his belt, Chuck Liddle is also a qualified number cruncher. Growing success as a young amateur fighter didn’t stop him from hitting the books and Liddle graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a BA in business and accounting in 1995.