Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor, presenter Bill Turnbull and author Esther Freud to be honoured by University of Suffolk

Robin Windsor and Deborah Meaden in Strictly Come Dancing in 2013. Picture: BBC/GUY LEVY

Robin Windsor and Deborah Meaden in Strictly Come Dancing in 2013. Picture: BBC/GUY LEVY - Credit: BBC

Eleven people from the county and beyond will receive their awards in ceremonies taking place this autumn.

Bill Turnbull. Picture: ARCHANT

Bill Turnbull. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Mr Windsor, a West End and Broadway star from Ipswich, shot to fame on the BBC dancing competition from 2010 to 2013.

The ex-Copleston High School student has represented England worldwide in ballroom and Latin and supports charities including Inspire Suffolk and Stonewall.

He said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been offered such a prestigious award for doing what I love. Dance has always been my life and to have been recognised for my work in such a way is slightly overwhelming.”

Mr Turnbull, of Suffolk, who hosts a weekend show on Classic FM, will also be honoured. He anchored BBC Breakfast for 15 years until February 2016.

Esther Freud near her Suffolk home. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Esther Freud near her Suffolk home. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Honorary doctorates will also be awarded to feminist writer Laura Bates, the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, and Ipswich musician Richard Edgar-Wilson, a celebrated tenor soloist.

Mr Edgar-Wilson said: “Our county has a remarkable cultural history and is home to many exceptional arts organisations and artists. At a time when the creative industries are facing unprecedented challenges, such recognition is most welcome.”

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Suffolk novelist Esther Freud will receive an honorary award for her contribution to the arts. She said: “A double honour: a doctor of the university, and from the county closest to my heart.”

Christine Dobson, who led the development of the first BSc and MSc degrees in radiography in the country, will also receive an honorary award, as will former principal of Suffolk New College Professor Dave Muller for his contribution to education. Both helped establish the university.

He said: “It is very special and quite emotional. I feel very proud and somehow complete.”

Games inventor David Parlett, founder of the East of England Energy Group John Best, artist Ryan Gander, and sports journalist David Walsh will also be honoured.

Richard Lister, vice-chancellor of the University of Suffolk, said: “We are delighted to welcome such a diverse and distinguished group of individuals as honorary graduates and fellows.”

The honorary awards will be presented at graduation ceremonies in Suffolk and Great Yarmouth from October 7-18.

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