Biffy Clyro frontman ‘proud’ to be awarded honorary degree

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Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil has said being awarded an honorary degree is “the stuff of dreams”.

The tattooed rocker, from Irvine in North Ayrshire, is being awarded a doctor of letters (DLitt) from Glasgow Caledonian University, recognising his “continued inspiration to all creatives the world over”.

Deacon Blue singer and fellow Scottish musician Ricky Ross will receive the same honour from the university for his contribution to music and culture.

Speaking ahead of receiving his degree, Neil said: “To receive this doctorate is an honour I could never have expected.

“To receive it in Glasgow, a city which has featured so long and so supportively in the band’s story, is the stuff of dreams.

Simon Neil, centre, with his Biffy Clyro bandmates James Johnston, left, and Ben Johnston (Suzan Moore/PA)
Simon Neil, centre, with his Biffy Clyro bandmates James Johnston, left, and Ben Johnston (Suzan Moore/PA)

“I am also proud to be connected to such a forward-thinking an institution as Glasgow Caledonian University, and accept this honour with gratitude and respect.”

Glasgow Caledonian University will also award former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard a doctor of laws in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the advancement of gender equality and access to education.

Writer Bernardine Evaristo, the author of Girl, Woman, Other, will receive a doctor of letters for her contribution to literature and human rights.

Professor Pamela Gillies, Glasgow Caledonian principal and vice-chancellor, said the awards give the university “the opportunity to welcome distinguished individuals into our GCU family as honorary graduates”.

She added: “This year we are privileged indeed to honour many worthy recipients. They all share a deeply held core set of values that align with our own. They authentically live these values and are an inspiration to us all.”

The degrees will be presented in ceremonies at the university next month.

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