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Honorary Fellowships for distinguished professionals

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Eight recipients of UCLan academic honour

Eight distinguished people have been rewarded for their contribution to the community with Honorary Fellowships from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Graham Massey, John Thomson, Mark Crabtree OBE, Barry Purves, David Roche, Gennady Bognadov, Gerison Lansdown and Michael Wignall joined more than 4,000 students during this year's prestigious Degree and Award ceremonies held over five days at Preston’s Guild Hall.

Graham Massey received his award to acknowledge the significant contribution he has made to the music industry, as a composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer. The founding member of pioneering electronic music group 808 State has offered much support to UCLan through student collaboration, performing at the University’s Degree Show and being a key contributor to the International Future Sound Music Conference.

Raised and educated in Preston, John Thomson was recognised for the significant contribution he has made to the performance industry, as a talented actor. He has worked as an actor, writer and comedian for 30 years and is best known to millions as Pete Gifford, one of the main character in ITV’s Cold Feet. He has worked on huge shows including The Fast Show and Coronation Street, has performed in award-winning theatre productions and voices many animated characters.

Burnley’s Mark Crabtree OBE was acknowledged for the significant contribution he has made to the audio engineering industry. The founder of audio engineering company AMS Neve counts some of the world’s most prestigious film and recording studios as customers. He has won Academy Awards, an Emmy and a Grammy and year upon year Oscar nominees have had their soundtracks mixed and/or music recorded on his company’s equipment. He also welcomes UCLan students to his studio and has employed a number of graduates.

Oscar and BAFTA nominated Barry Purves was rewarded for the significant contribution he has made to the animation industry. The director’s work has predominantly focused on films, including King Kong, and various television programmes including childhood favourites Rainbow, The Wind in the Willows, and most recently the Twirlywoos. His own films have won more than 60 awards, he has worked extensively in theatre and is a regular visiting lecturer at the University.

David Roche received his award to acknowledge the significant contribution he has made to British Book Trade. His distinguished career has seen him hold senior positions at Waterstones, HarperCollins and Borders. He has been a key factor in the significant growth of the British book trade and has been integral in developing new channels to ensure greater access to books. He is now chairman of the London Book Fair and is a huge advocate of the University’s MA Publishing course, having acted as a consultant since its inception.

Gennady Bognadov was recognised for the significant contribution he has made to theatrical biomechanics. The Russian is one of the last living direct links to Meyerhold’s theatrical biomechanics, a unique actor training system. The performer has taught the movement-based approach to acting around the world. He founded and managed the International School of Biomechanics and since 2000 he has trained and worked with the University’s acting degree course leader. For the last nine years, he has directly trained UCLan students.

Gerison Lansdown received her award to acknowledge the significant contribution she has made as a consultant and advocate for international children’s rights. She has been an exceptional representative for children and young people for the past 20 years. The international children’s rights consultant is the chair of Child to Child, is the former Vice Chair of UNICEF-UK and has been asked to write for the United Nations Committee. She has also given her support to the University’s Centre for Children and Young People’s Participation.

Preston born and educated Michael Wignall was recognised for his significant contribution to the catering industry, as one of the most successful and respected chefs in the country. Michael has won Michelin stars in every kitchen he has headed. He is currently Executive Head Chef at Gidleigh Park, in Devon, and holds two Michelin stars and five AA-red star rosettes. Michael has also appeared on numerous television cooking shows including MasterChef, the Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen.  

See the photo gallery of our new Honorary Fellows on UCLan's Flickr gallery. 

Rachel Atkinson | 18 July 2017