Pirates of the Caribbean star Jack Davenport finally turns up for University of East Anglia graduation ceremony

Actor Jack Davenport at the UEA to receive an honorary degree. Jack, left, with Professor Chris Bigs

Actor Jack Davenport at the UEA to receive an honorary degree. Jack, left, with Professor Chris Bigsby. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

A Pirates of the Caribbean star who was too busy working to attend his University of East Anglia graduation nearly two decades ago made amends when he turned up to receive an honorary degree today.

Actor Jack Davenport at the UEA to receive an honorary degree. Picture: Denise Bradley

Actor Jack Davenport at the UEA to receive an honorary degree. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

Jack Davenport, who played Steve in the hit TV series Coupling, and Miles in This Life, was one of five UEA alumni who yesterday received their awards as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.

He said: 'I was a student here and graduated, but unfortunately I actually went literally straight into a job when I finished my last exam here, so I was not able to come to the graduation, so I missed all this.

'I completely skipped the BA part, and I find myself collapsing into the DPhil bit.'

Mr Davenport, who is the son of actors Nigel Davenport and Maria Aitken, studied Film Studies and English Literature at the UEA from 1992, but is now based in New York.


You may also want to watch:


He said he had a 'really, really good time' at the university, and said he was privileged to attend lectures by Iris Murdoch, John Fowles and Martin Amis during his time there.

He said: 'There was that sense of being at the centre of something, which when you are in a university that is not necessarily what you expect to experience.'

Most Read

He added: 'A liberal arts degree is a slightly anachronistic concept in this day and age, and I don't think that it should be. The world of work has become so empirical.

'I work in the story-telling business and I think it's really important to have a time to just enjoy good stories and good story tellers with no pressure to act on it other than write an essay on it.'

As well as around 1,000 students who were awarded their degrees, four alumni in addition to Mr Davenport received honorary awards.

Philip Mould, an international art dealer, author and broadcaster who is known for the BBC1 series Fake or Fortune?, was the first student to organise an exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre at UEA, when studying Art History from 1978.

Joe Greenwell served as chairman of Ford of Britain and chairman and CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, and offers an annual scholarship worth £2,500 for one UEA American Studies student on their year abroad.

Victoria Phillips is head of employment rights at the leading national trade union law firm Thompsons Solicitors, and last year was appointed to join the UN Internal Justice Council which oversees employment relations within the UN.

Meanwhile, former publisher and literary agent Martin Pick worked as an educational and children's book publisher for more than 45 years.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus