Julian Clary and Charlie Higson to join historian, businessman and humanitarian in receiving honorary degree from UEA

PUBLISHED: 15:51 16 June 2014 | UPDATED: 18:32 16 June 2014

Julian Clary

Julian Clary

JJ Waller

Comedian Julian Clary will receive an honorary degree from the University of East Anglia this summer.

Fellow honorary degree recipients will include former UEA student Charlie Higson, who co-created, co-wrote and co-starred the BBC Two comedy The Fast Show, with fellow UEA graduate Paul Whitehouse.

Antony Beevor, whose best-selling history books include ‘Stalingrad’ and ‘Berlin - The Downfall 1945’, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.

Mr Clary is a comedian and novelist who rose to fame with his alternative stand-up comedy in the 1980s. Known by many for his flamboyant dress and make-up, he has since gone on to perform sold-out stand-up tours, act on stage and film, as well as winning the 2012 series of Celebrity Big Brother.

He studied English and Drama at Goldsmiths, and will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.

He said: “A doctor at last!”

A university spokesman said he has family roots in Norfolk, and added that his mother comes from Stoke Ferry, near Downham Market, and he regularly visited his grandparents there as a child, and still holidays in and has friends in Norfolk.

Brian Summers, UEA registrar and secretary, said: “Each year we present honorary degrees to those who have made outstanding contributions in fields such as the arts, science, sport and civil society and once again we are delighted to recognise the impact these inspirational people have had by inviting them to graduate with our 2014 cohort of students.”

Mr Higson, who was also patron of UEA’s first Festival of Literature for Young People in 2013, said: “I didn’t realise it back then, but my whole subsequent career came about through people I met at UEA and the subjects I studied.

“I thought I was just having a good time. It’s a real honour for a former blue-haired punk and layabout to be given this doctorate.”

Others set to be honoured include author Anne Enright, Adnam’s chief executive Andy Wood, founder Marcelle Speller and humanitarian aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières.

UEA’s Vice-Chancellor Edward Acton, who steps down from the post in September, will also be honoured during year’s congregation ceremonies from July 22-25.

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