Peaky Blinders star and Bridget Jones creator to receive honorary degrees in York

The cast of Peaky Blinders, with Helen McCrory fourth from the right. Photograph: BBC / Tiger Aspect
7 Jul 2016 @ 7.17 pm
| Education, News

One of the stars of hit BBC drama Peaky Blinders and the creator of Bridget Jones are being awarded with degrees in York.

Hundreds of graduates from the University of York will receive their degrees at three days of ceremonies, from Wednesday, July 13 to Friday, July 14.

And they will be joined by 13 people from the world of arts, entertainment and politics who are to receive honorary degrees for their contribution to society.

They include Helen McCrory, best known for her incendiary contribution as Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders and as Evelyn Poole in US series Penny Dreadful. Helen’s other TV work includes starring roles in Anna Karenina, Leaving, Frankenstein and North Square.

Her movie roles include Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter series and Cherie Blair in Stephen Frears’ The Queen.

Also honoured is Helen Fielding. Beginning as a newspaper column, her chronicle of the life of fictitious thirtysomething singleton Bridget Jones turned into best-selling novels and hit movies.

The third in the film series, Bridget Jones’ Baby is due to be released in September.

Politics, religion – and more

William Hague – or to give him his proper title, Lord Hague of Richmond, is another to receive the honour.

Born in Rotherham, Lord Hague is the former Richmond MP, Conservative Party leader and Foreign Secretary. He is also a successful biographer, with books about William Pitt the Younger and William Wilberforce.

Tory Party grandee William Hague. Photograph ©  Chatham House via Wikimedia Commons
Tory Party grandee William Hague. Photograph © Chatham House via Wikimedia Commons

Another man with quite the career is Lord Rowan Williams. He rose through the ranks of the Church, serving as the Archbishop of Canterbury from December 2002 for ten years.

The other distinguished figures to receive honorary degrees are

  • Charitable campaigner and CEO of Turning Point, Lord Victor Adebowale
  • Educators, Tony Cann and Professor Sir John Holman
  • Medical ethical lawyer, Professor Sir Ian Kennedy
  • Ballerina, Marguerite Porter
  • Scientists, Dr Patrick Vallance, Professor David L Heymann, Comendador Augusto Sampaio and Professor Tieniu Tan.