Scottish satirist Armando Iannucci and broadcast journalist Sally Magnusson are to join Scotland’s National Academy for learning, it has been announced.

As part of their latest intake, Iannucci, 60, and Magnusson, 68, will be among the 57 fellows to join the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) this year.

The RSE has a Fellowship of 1800 people from science, the arts, business, sports, civil society and academia working in or with organisations in Scotland. 

Iannucci has been elected as an honorary fellow for his satirical work, writing, directing and producing.

He is responsible for movies such as In the Loop, The Death of Stalin, The Personal History of David Copperfield, as well as the BAFTA-winning BBC satire series The Thick of It.


  • Armando Iannucci says Government policies ‘are putting more people into poverty’
  • Thick of It writer Iannucci ridicules 'beyond satire PM' Johnson

Speaking about his inclusion in the RSE’s list, Iannucci said it was a source of inspiration to keep making people laugh with his work.

He said: “I am thrilled to be elected to the fellowship of the RSE; this is confirmation from the champions of the highest standards of academic and cultural excellence in Scotland that writing jokes is an honourable pursuit.

“This recognition will spur me on to make more people laugh louder, longer and harder than ever before, and will always remind me that it’s as equally important to make people think as well as laugh. I promise to do my best.”

Broadcaster and journalist Magnusson was elected for her charity work, including her dementia charity, Playlist for Life.

She said: “It’s a tremendous honour to be elected as a fellow.

“The RSE has a centuries-old history as Scotland’s national academy and I’m proud to belong to it.

“I look forward to playing my part in its longstanding mission to deploy knowledge for public good.”

Just last week, Magnusson took part in an event in Dunfermline that saw her bring a special version of Mastermind to the area, raising £23,000 in the process.

READ MORE: Why East Dunbartonshire is the 'perfect place' for Sally Magnusson

Magnusson started her charity in 2013 when her mother Mamie passed away after a battle with dementia. Her charity aims to use unique music playlists to help people living with the disease get rid of anxiety and evoke memories that can help their families and carers connect.

Other new fellows include Professor Jason Gill, professor of cardiometabolic health at the University of Glasgow, who was elected for his contributions to the prevention and management of vascular, metabolic, and chronic diseases.

He said: “The broad and multi-disciplinary nature of the society has never been more important, given the complex nature of the challenges facing society which increasingly require solutions involving collaboration across disciplines and sectors.”

Professor Elham Kashefi, of the University of Edinburgh and chief scientist at the UK National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC), has also been announced as a new fellow.

She said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to utilise the RSE’s platform to bring the quantum wave beyond our academic circles, influencing policymakers.”

Professor David Croisdale-Appleby, health and social care expert, chair of both the Royal College of Physicians and Dementia UK, was elected as an honorary fellow.

President of the society, Professor Sir John Ball, said: “It is an immense honour to extend a warm welcome to each of our distinguished new fellows.

“Individually, they embody exceptional dedication and accomplishment spanning multiple sectors and disciplines.

“Collectively, they demonstrate a profound commitment and determination to make meaningful contributions through their endeavours.”