The brilliant TV funnyman Greg Davies has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Brunel University London in a winter graduation ceremony this afternoon at Central Hall in Westminster.
Former drama teacher turned comedian, Greg studied English and Drama at Brunel and has been a fixture on stage and screen for more than 20 years.
He is best known for playing ruthless Head of Sixth Form, Mr Gilbert, in The Inbetweeners and as writer, creator and star of Man Down. His leading role in all five series of Cuckoo earned him a BAFTA nomination, and his most recent credits include being creator, writer and star of the sitcom The Cleaner.
Since 2015 Greg has been the host of BAFTA-winning hit TV show Taskmaster, alongside the show's creator Alex Horne. He hosted the 2018 Royal Variety Performance Gala, performing in front of HRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the London Palladium, watched by more than 150 million viewers worldwide. His 2018 stand-up show You Magnificent Beast was recorded and released as a Netflix Special, and two of his shows have been nominated for Edinburgh Comedy Awards.
Meretta Elliott, Head of Department for Arts and Humanities at Brunel, presented Greg as an honorary Doctor of Humanities in recognition of his distinguished contribution to the field of media, entertainment and the arts.
Accepting his award, Greg said: "I would like to sincerely thank Brunel University London for this honour. It's wonderful for me to get a second degree that, frankly, involved about as much work as I put into my first degree – no work whatsoever. I sense that's not the case for you people."
In response to the University's request for some advice he'd give to the new graduates, he said: "The one thing that has stuck with me is that if you have an inkling, deep down, of where you want to put those energies of yours, if you sense somewhere within you that you know you might be able to do this. Don't presume there's someone better than you to do it, because that's what I did. I presumed that there would be someone frankly with better hair than me to do comedy, or that was more confident than me. And so I didn't do it. I put my energies elsewhere."
Greg's energies originally went into teaching, and he taught Drama and English at a number of secondary schools for over a decade, until at the age of 33 he was spurred to follow his original dream and signed up for a stand-up comedy workshop.
"So, for what it's worth, my advice to you is, deep down, you'll know where all those wonderful brains you've got should be applied. And you shouldn't shy away from that. You should stay focused," he added.
"It's been a real honour for me to get this. It's been so wonderful seeing you all come up and get your honours to reflect all your wonderful, hard work. And I really, sincerely wish you all the best with your exciting lives, you lucky devils."
The ceremony also saw an honorary fellowship presented to Sue Serret, who has spent 24 years working in charities, social enterprises and education, and who has supported Brunel students to volunteer since first working with the University in 2016.
Joe Buchanunn, Media Relations
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