[Press and Public Relations] University of Leicester Honours Distinguished Figures from Sport and Stage

January 2002

No 23 

More than 1,100 postgraduate students will celebrate success at the University of Leicester when they are awarded their degrees on 7 February.

The University of Leicester will honour two distinguished people at the Postgraduate Degree Congregation held at De Montfort Hall, Leicester. The honorary graduands of the University of Leicester are:


MR TIM PIGOTT-SMITH:  The actor and director’s career has encompassed both stage and screen. He recently featured in ITV’s Bloody Sunday broadcast on January 20 and now on worldwide cinema release. The BAFTA award winning actor (Best TV Actor The Jewel in The Crown) has previously performed in Leicester and has acted in films including Innocents, Clash of the Titans, Life Story (Best TV Film, BAFTA) and Escape to Victory.  He featured in Merchant Ivory’s The Remains of the Day and he will soon be seen in Shekhar Kapur’s The Four Feathers. He is a regular performer of Shakespeare with the RSC and at the National Theatre, and he appeared in The Iceman Cometh in the West End and on Broadway, alongside Kevin Spacey. His television credits include Kavanagh QC, The Vice, Dr Who, The Wilderness Years, North and South and The Chief. 


MR DEAN RICHARDS, MBE: Dean Richards was born in Nuneaton and played in age-group rugby for the Nuneaton club while attending John Cleveland College in Hinckley. He joined Leicester Tigers and made his debut at Neath in 1982. His England debut was in March 1986 against Ireland at Twickenham where he became the first player in 57 years to score two tries on an England debut. In 1989 he toured Australia with the British Lions. During the Leicester versus Barbarians game at Christmas 1995 he became only the second Tigers forward to score 100 tries for the club - the other being David Matthews. Dean has been involved in all Leicester’s league title wins, as a player in ‘88, as captain in ‘95 and as manager in the ‘98/‘99 & ‘99/’00, ‘00/’01 seasons. He is the world’s most-capped No. 8. He is currently the club's Director of Rugby.

A total of 1,184 students will gain their postgraduate qualifications, some of who will have read for degrees by distance learning and will visit Leicester for the first time with their families.  The University is the biggest provider of taught postgraduate degrees in the UK with nearly 5000 students from over 115 countries reading for degrees by this method.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Burgess, said: "I am delighted to congratulate all our graduates on their splendid achievements. The University is pleased to honour Dean Richards and Tim Pigott-Smith whose contributions to their respective fields have been so notable. They offer excellent role models for the University's students.”


Please find below details of graduates who have supplied information to the Press Office and you may wish to follow up.

Note to News and Picture Desks: The postgraduate degree congregation starts at 2.30pm on February 7 at De Montfort Hall, Leicester. Photos are permitted at any time during the ceremony and access backstage for posed shots is permitted only AFTER the ceremony, which lasts approx. 90 minutes (ie 4pm).

You may be interested in the following of story/picture ideas:

[Leicester University] [*] Administration [*] Press and Public Relations
Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: 31 January 2002 10:30
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