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Blue Peter presenter to receive UCLan award

Peter Purves among five honorary award recipients at ceremonies between 13 and 15 December

An iconic Blue Peter presenter is being recognised with an honorary award from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Peter Purves, who hosted the popular children’s TV show in the 1960s and 70s, will receive an Honorary Fellowship during UCLan’s upcoming graduation ceremonies.

His career on the small screen has spanned more than 60 years with his first notable role as Steven Taylor, a famous companion of Doctor Who. The 83-year-old’s love for the role led him to take part in a recent award-winning UCLan project, which saw students and staff remake the lost 1960s Doctor Who episode ‘Mission to the Unknown’.

Peter, who was born in nearby New Longton and spent his early years in Blackpool, co-presented Blue Peter for 11 years during its heyday. He has presented the world-famous dog show Crufts for 41 years and has acted in and presented a host of other TV shows during his illustrious-career.

He will take to stage of UCLan’s Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre on Tuesday 13 December to receive the prestigious award to acknowledge the significant contribution he has made in services to television, acting and presenting.

Former BBC journalist Peter Burdin, whose career with the famous news corporation spanned more than 30 years, is being recognised with an Honorary Fellowship for his significant contribution to journalism and the mentoring and training of journalists.

He was based in Africa and delivered exclusive coverage on a range of huge events, including the death of President Nelson Mandela.

Peter, who was raised close to Preston, retired from the BBC in 2016 and now uses his skills to mentor and train young journalists through his own media company. He also became one of UCLan’s Leaders in Residence and collaborates with journalism academics.

The University is also awarding a posthumous Honorary Fellowship to the late Ron Atkins, who was an MP for Preston North in the 1960s and 70s.

Until his death in 2020, at age 104 he was the UK’s longest living former MP. He served as a Preston City Councillor and was the primary political driving force behind the establishment of Preston Polytechnic in 1984. He later advocated for its evolution to full university status as the University of Central Lancashire in 1992.

He will be honoured for the significant contribution he made to public service and to UCLan’s development. His widow Elizabeth will take the graduation stage to receive his award.

Music lawyer and author Ann Harrison and Ambassador Enna Park will receive Honorary Doctorates.

Ann will be honoured to recognise the significant contribution she has made to the development of music business education. The lawyer and author is a consultant at an entertainment law firm and she has been instrumental in planning and delivering some of the biggest deals in modern music. Ann has made a significant contribution to the development of music law education at national and international levels while her book is widely regarded as a key text for anyone studying on music related courses. She is also one of UCLan’s Leaders in Residence.

Enna is being acknowledged for the significant contribution she has made to diplomacy and the development of Korean studies internationally. In her 37-year career as a diplomat, Enna took posts at the United Nations plus the Korean Embassies in India and China. She made a huge impact on broadening and deepening Korean studies abroad while she served as Ambassador for Public Diplomacy and it was in her role as Korean Ambassador to the UK that she played a key role in the Korean Embassy’s visit to UCLan. Enna was instrumental in UCLan being awarded a special status by the Korean Embassy.

The University’s degree and award celebrations, which run from 13 and 15 December, will see more than 2,000 students donning their academic caps and gowns in front of their invited guests. The post-event celebrations will take place inside the new multi-million-pound Student Centre.

To ensure additional friends and family members can watch the celebratory ceremonies in Preston, in addition to live feeds within lecture theatres, the University has teamed up with The Adelphi pub to broadcast the live ceremonies while those further afield can watch the live streams on the University’s YouTube channel.



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