21 July 2006

Comic genius receives honorary degree

Eddie Izzard with his father Harold

Former Sheffield student and world famous stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard returned to the University this week to receive an honorary degree at the annual degree ceremonies.

Eddie’s achievements as a comedian and highly-acclaimed actor were recognised in the degree ceremony on Wednesday 19 July 2006, when he became a Doctor of Letters. In his typical light-hearted style, he reflected before his ceremony that being ‘Dr Izzard’ could be very handy when he next gets into trouble.

Eddie attended the University of Sheffield in the early 1980s but opted out of his degree course in Accounting and Financial Management at the end of the first year (during his visit he was heard to exclaim cheerfully “they threw me out!”). He said that it was “fun” to receive a degree after 25 years and, on a more serious note, he was clearly proud to have his father at the ceremony because “Dad always wanted me to get a degree”.

He is best remembered on campus for his enthusiasm for the theatre and his time spent in the University Drama Studio. During his time at the University he established the Alternative Productions Society in the Union of Students with the aim of promoting fringe-based arts.

Cementing his international reputation with a series of world tours, Eddie has entertained huge audiences with his unique comic narratives. His one-man shows have won him two British Comedy Awards and two Emmy awards in America. We are certainly proud to have him as one of our alumni.