Two of the nation’s comedy stars have been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Chester.
Dame Patricia Routledge and Joanna Lumley, as well as Lumley’s husband, composer Stephen Barlow, were honoured alongside 791 students at the University of Chester graduation ceremonies held in the city’s cathedral on Friday.
The actors received honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) and were congratulated by the Chancellor and former MP, Dr Gyles Brandreth.
Dame Patricia, 90, who played Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances, was honoured for her outstanding contribution to theatre and television.
The classically trained singer, who is originally from Birkenhead, Merseyside, said: “The university of my home county of Cheshire does me a great honour in inviting me to accept the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters and it gives me great pleasure to acquiesce.”
Absolutely Fabulous star Lumley, 72, was honoured in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts.
She said: “Not having been to university, for me to receive this singular honour is completely thrilling and humbling.
“The splendid seat of learning that is the University of Chester has opened its brainy and generous arms to me, and I rush into its welcoming embrace with much gratitude and joy.”
Her husband Barlow, a conductor, composer and pianist, received an honorary Doctor of Music (DMus) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the arts.
The university also awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) to Duncan Selbie, the founding chief executive of Public Health England.
Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Tim Wheeler, said: “Our graduation ceremonies are always a particularly special and memorable occasion at the university and it is a pleasure to share the sense of achievement, celebration and hope with our graduands and their families.
“I am equally delighted to be able to present honorary degrees to four outstanding individuals, in recognition of their national and international achievements, and to welcome them to be a part of the University of Chester.”