One of the Hairy Bikers has swapped his motorbike leathers for an academic gown after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Dave Myers, known to millions as one of the Hairy Bikers, returned to his former seat of learning today, Monday, to collect an Honorary Fellowship.
The BAFTA nominated TV chef studied on a Preston Polytechnic (now UCLan) foundation art course in the mid-1970s and has been recognised for the contribution he has made to the community through his varied career and his work as a television presenter.
He said: “It’s a huge honour to receive this award. I remember coming down on the train in the red hot summer of 1976, it was Preston Poly back in those days, but this University set me off on the road to what I’ve achieved and I’m eternally grateful. For some reason I didn’t go to my graduation so this is even more special as never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be returning to get a fellowship.
“It was great being a student here. It was an honest place with wonderful down-to-earth people who offered great support. If it wasn’t for my tutor’s encouragement I wouldn’t have made it London to continue my career. I’ve only got very fond memories of the place.”
I remember coming down on the train in the red hot summer of 1976, it was Preston Poly back in those days, but this University set me off on the road to what I’ve achieved and I’m eternally grateful
Dave received his honorary award on the stage of Preston’s Guild Hall in front of hundreds of students from the Schools of Business; Management; Law; Social Work, Care and the Community; and the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.
He told the packed audience that being raised in Barrow-in-Furness back in the 1960s made him feel very much a Lancastrian. He said: “I’m very proud of my roots and upbringing and to be recognised on my home-ground is amazing.”
He also encouraged the new graduates to follow their dreams. “If there is one piece of advice I can give, it is that I would always encourage ambition and you should just give it a go,” he said. “Never let people say ‘Are you sure? Maybe you should lower your sights’. You should have a go and chase your dreams because they just might come true.”
The Hairy Biker also added his thanks to the students and their families who had struggled through the recent floods in north Lancashire and Cumbria to attend the afternoon ceremony.
Around 1,400 undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate students will collect their awards during the four winter ceremonies.