Galleries: Stars and students celebrate graduation at UCS in Ipswich

AN inspirational screenwriter ventured to a Suffolk town to take to the stage alongside more than 500 Suffolk students.

AN inspirational screenwriter ventured to a Suffolk town to take to the stage alongside more than 500 Suffolk students.

Writer, producer and actor David Croft OBE was today honoured with an accolade from University Campus Suffolk (UCS) at the institution’s second and final day of graduation ceremonies.

Best-known for producing British sitcoms such as Dad’s Army, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, ‘Allo ‘Allo! and Are You Being Served?, Mr Croft told students to keep up all of their hard work.

“I’m surprised with all of this,” he laughed while he sat in the Mayor’s chambers of Ipswich’s Town Hall.

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He later said that despite all of his achievements, being amongst the students at UCS was “one of his proudest moments”.

“I think all the students should keep at it.”

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Meanwhile, hotel inspector, food writer and restaurateur Ruth Watson advised students that success was about the hard work, not the inspiration.

Mrs Watson, who owns the Crown and Castle hotel in Orford, said: I am hugely honoured and it’s a fantastic surprise to be receiving a doctorate from UCS.

“I didn’t go to university myself so this is all new to me.

“This is a great day for these graduating students and they know that nothing happened by chance and that the hard work has just begun.

“Success is all about perspiration, not inspiration.”

The duo joined students from across UCS’ network of colleges in celebrating their success and hard work.

Celebrity farmer Jimmy Doherty, who shot to fame in BBC show Jimmy’s Farm, and BBC Radio Suffolk show host Mark Murphy told of their delight after receiving their doctorates yesterday.

Mr Doherty said: “It feels so great not only to be honoured with this but to share in the celebrations with all the students and to mark their fantastic achievements.

“I support many universities and I think that it is great that these students in Suffolk can set such a fantastic example.

“Students and young people get a bad press a lot of the time, so it is great to see these students acting as shining stars.”

Meanwhile Mr Murphy that he was delighted to have been honoured in his home town.

“I am still completely blown away by all of this. It is such a great honour to be honoured right here in Ipswich – I’m an Ipswich boy and it’s just a great honour for me.”

Provost Mike Saks, who took up his position at UCS earlier this year, said: “It has been so fantastic. This is my first ceremony in Ipswich, having previously done some in Lowestoft and around the region.

“I think it is the most exciting time for our students because it reflected their hard work and achievements.”

Two more well-known local faces, Betty Milburn – a highly regarded member of the community at West Suffolk College – and Robert Mee – Chair of Lowestoft College – were honoured across the six ceremonies.

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