Outlander star Sam Heughan enjoys day off to pick up honorary degree

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Sam Heughan said he felt wonderful to receive the honorary doctorate for his acting and charitable work (Jane Barlow/PA)

Outlander star Sam Heughan has told how he was “glad” to be given a day off from filming the hit TV show’s upcoming season to receive an honorary degree.

The 39-year-old was at the University of Stirling on Thursday to be recognised for his outstanding contribution to acting and charitable endeavours.

Heughan – who plays Jamie Fraser in the critically acclaimed drama – told PA Scotland he was able to wave at fellow cast and crew members on his way to the ceremony as the set is located close to campus.

Outlander Season 2
Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser in the second series of Outlander, alongside Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall (Starz/Sony Pictures Television/PA)

He said: “I’ve actually got the day off. I drove past work today – we’re actually not shooting too far from the university – so I did give them a little wave.

“I’m quite glad to not be working today.”

Heughan, from Glasgow, added: “I don’t think we really knew how successful Outlander would be, it’s been a real life-changing experience.

“In North America and Canada it’s been very, very popular – and the rest of the world, too.

“It’s great and it seems to have a real life, it’s now just gone on to Netflix in America as well so we have a whole new fan base.”

Part of the show – which is set for a fifth series – has been filmed on the university’s campus, with locations including the Pathfoot Building, the link bridge and Hermitage Woods.

Heughan has won a number of best actor awards for his performances in the series and received nominations for both a Bafta as well as a Critic’s Choice Television Award.

He is also a supporter of the blood cancer charity Bloodwise and has established his own charitable foundation, My Peak Challenge.

The actor said: “It is a really great honour and I feel just very privileged to be able to share this day with all the other graduates.

“It feels wonderful that they’re recognising the work that we do for charity as well as the work I do in film and TV.

“I think coming to a university like Stirling, how can you not feel fortunate being in a great location like this?

“I would just say good luck to them all, I (wish the graduates) all great success in their chosen paths, have faith and they’ll be back receiving their own honorary doctorates, no doubt.”

Students at the university have been presented with the degrees during summer graduation ceremonies this week, while Heughan was to be presented with his honorary doctorate at around 2.30pm on Thursday.

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