Dame Jenni made Hon. Doctor of Letters for journalism and broadcasting
One of our most popular speakers Dame Jenni Murray received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) from the University of Chester recently in recognition of her outstanding contribution to journalism and broadcasting.
And who was there to present the degree? Another of our favourite speakers, the writer and wit Gyles Brandreth, who just happens to be the University’s Chancellor and is also a former Chester MP.
Jenni is of course best known as a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour - a position she has held for more than 30 years. Born and educated in Barnsley, Yorkshire, she headed south for a job with BBC Radio Bristol in 1973 and went on to report and present for BBC TV’s South Today.
In 1983, she joined Newsnight and then moved to Radio 4 as a presenter on the Today programme. She became the regular presenter of Woman’s Hour in 1987.
She was awarded an OBE in 1999 and was made a Dame in the Queen’s 2011 Birthday Honours.
Jenni was among a number of well known names honoured by the university including another sometime Clive Conway Productions speaker Katie Derham. The BBC radio 3 presenter received an honorary degree of Doctor of Music (DMus) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts and broadcasting. Among others honoured were the actors Nikolas Grace and Derek Griffiths, the financial journalist and broadcaster Paul Lewis, the food journalist Sheila Dillon and the choreographer and director Wayne McGregor.
Tweeting about the awards ceremony afterwards Gyles commented that he first appeared on Woman’s Hour back in 1970 when Jenni Murray was just 19 and among the programme’s listeners.