Notable honoraries
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Notable honoraries

Muse

Muse

Matthew Bellamy, Christopher
Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard met at Teignmouth Community College in the early 1990s and formed a band together to enter a local competition. Encouraged by their success, the trio spent several years playing small venues across Devon and Cornwall, and it was from these humble beginnings that Muse was born.

The release of two EPs in the latter part of the decade brought them to the attention of the music media, but it was their debut studio album, Showbiz (1999), that really marked them out as the kind of band who would one day headline Glastonbury. Origin of Symmetry (2001) and Absolution (2003) maintained their upward trajectory and matched Showbiz in achieving Platinum sales figures.  2006’s Black Holes & Revelations cemented their position as one of Britain’s most influential bands
and launched them on a world tour of 48
countries and 207 shows, which included the first gig at the newly built Wembley Stadium.

Acclaimed for their innovative live shows, Muse have won a host of accolades, including two Brit awards, and amassed more than 10 million album sales.
 
Muse were made Honorary Doctors of Arts in 2008 .
Alastair Stewart OBE

Alastair Stewart OBE

Alastair Stewart is one of the most
recognisable journalists on the ITV network and one of the few to have presented all of ITN’s main news programmes. He started his career in 1976 with Southern Television in Southampton and joined ITN four years
later as Industrial Correspondent.
 
Alastair was appointed ITN’s Washington Correspondent in 1990 and soon found himself anchoring coverage of the first Gulf War from Saudi Arabia – and he was the first journalist to report from a liberated Kuwait City. Alongside stints with BBC Radio Five and GMTV, he presented ITV’s London Tonight programme for 16 years, until 2009. He returned to the ITV News Channel in 2003, and has been anchoring coverage of major news stories alongside his other commitments, such as hosting the first leadership debate in the 2010 General Election.
 
Alastair studied economics, politics and
sociology at Bristol University and was
Deputy President of the National Union
of Students from 1974-76. He is Vice
Patron of The Zito Trust and the Mental
Health Foundation, and Patron of Scope; mental health charity SANE; the medical research charity HOPE; Crimestoppers and Kids4Kids. Alastair has won a number of awards including The Face of London from the Royal Television Society in 2002, and
Presenter of the Year in 2005 from the same body. He was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to broadcasting and charity.
 
Alastair was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters in 2010.
Dick Strawbridge MBE

Dick Strawbridge MBE

Dick Strawbridge was born in Burma but brought up and educated in Northern Ireland. He joined the army in 1978 and over the next 20 years, rose to become a Lieutenant Colonel – and it was for his distinguished service in Northern Ireland that he was awarded an MBE in 1993.
 
It was while serving in the Army that Dick
was persuaded to audition for Channel 4’s Scrapheap Challenge and he appeared in the first series, and went on to win the trophy in series three with his two younger brothers. His personality and engineering skills had clearly made an impression as he was later approached with an offer to become a presenter on the BBC. His first series was Crafty Tricks of War and he went
on to work on shows including The
Reinventors, Planet Mechanics, and Coast. And after appearing in over 30 Scrapheap Challenge shows, he became the presenter in 2008.
 
Before his recent run to the finals of
Celebrity Masterchef, Dick was best known for starring in It’s Not Easy Being Green with his family, which launched in 2005 and followed the story of their relocation to Cornwall. The focus of the show was on their attempts to live sustainably, and developed through subsequent series to involve helping the public with ‘green’ projects around the country. Dick still runs eco courses from his farm in Cornwall and has just published his second book.
 
Dick was made an Honorary Doctor of
Science in 2010.
Matthew Bourne OBE

Matthew Bourne OBE

Matthew Bourne is widely hailed as one of the UK’s most popular and successful Choreographer/Directors, something acknowledged by his OBE for services to dance in 2001. Born in Hackney, London, Matthew enrolled at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in Deptford, where he earned a BA in Dance and Theatre. After graduating, he formed dance company
Adventures in Motion Pictures with fellow Directors and friends, Emma Gladstone and David Massingham.
 
As Artistic Director from 1987 to 2002, he helped establish the company as one of the most innovative and popular in the country. They are probably still best known for the all male production of Swan Lake, which was later featured in the film Billy Elliot and is now a set work on the ‘A’ Level dance syllabus. Matthew also danced professionally for 14 years, creating many of the roles in his own productions.
 
In 2002 Matthew launched his latest
company, New Adventures, with two highly successful productions, including Play Without Words which premiered as part of the National Theatre’s Transformations Season, and went on to win Best Entertainment and Choreography at that year’s Olivier Awards. He has also collaborated on projects with leading directors such as Trevor Nunn and Sam Mendes and created roles for performers such as Jonathan Pryce, Daw French, Julie
Walters and Michael Sheen.
 
Matthew was made an Honorary Doctor of Arts in 2010.
Monty Halls

Monty Halls

Monty Halls is a travel writer, explorer,
biologist, television presenter and public speaker whose career has spanned two decades and virtually every environment on Earth. Monty graduated from the University of Plymouth with a First Class BSc (hons) degree and served in the Royal Marines as an officer, where among other places, he worked in the Arctic and trained Nelson Mandela’s repatriated guerrilla army in South Africa.
 
On the back of his exploits as a team
leader and explorer, including three
circumnavigations of the world seeking
out the greatest encounters in the oceans, Monty was chosen to take part in Channel 4’s ‘Superhuman’ show in which he was pitted against elite performers in a year-long scientific examination. After winning the show, television work beckoned and he has
now presented programmes for the BBC, the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Channel 5. Perhaps the most notable have been ‘Great Ocean Adventures’ and ‘Monty Halls’ Great Escape’.
 
Monty has written a number of books,
including ‘Beachcomber Cottage’, and ‘Monty Halls’ Great Irish Escape’, the latter of which accompanies his forthcoming television series of the same name for 2011, and describes his
experiences working with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Conservation Group. He also finds time to support a number of other charities, including the Whale and Dolphin Conservation
Society, Help for Heroes and The Royal
Marines Charitable Trust Fund.
 
Monty was made an Honorary Doctor of
Science in 2010.
Freddie Knox

Freddie Knox

Freddie Knox was born in the Barbican,
Plymouth, and spent his early years as
a pupil of St Andrew’s School. He was
introduced to politics at a very young age, when, as an eight-year-old he ran with ‘tally pads’ at the elections. His mother and grandmother were both ardent suffragettes, and along with his uncle, had worked on Nancy Astor’s behalf when she stood in the by-election of 1919, becoming the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons.
 
Lady Astor went on to serve Plymouth
City as an MP for twenty-five years and
Freddie became her aide, confidante and representative, and over the years, her friend. An active member of St Andrew’s Church and a committed Hospital Visitor over many years, Freddie has a long interest in voluntary work. He was President and Secretary of the first branch of the United Nations Association Plymouth and a delegate to the first United Nations Associations Conference. Now in his early 90’s, Freddie continues to make public appearances in his home city, and
only last year he donated a rare bronze
statue, given to him in the 1930’s on a
visit to Plymouth, Massachusetts. He has also for many years been a speaker on the history of the Lord Mayor’s House on Elliot Terrace, which was previously Lady Astor’s home, which she left to the City of Plymouth on her death.
 
Freddie was made an Honorary Doctor of Humanities in 2010.