Curly-headed ex-Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall scoops honorary degree at University of Manchester

By Dean Wilkins

Curley-headed ginger pop star Mick Hucknall went back to school to collect an honorary degree at the University of Manchester yesterday.

The Denton-born former Simply Red frontman was one of five ‘outstanding’ individuals to receive special recognition at the institution, joining Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and the president of the International Paralympic Committee Sir Philip Craven.

Renowned Withington mathematician and politician Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw – who turned 100 earlier this month – was also given an honorary degree for her services the university and city – she is a former maths tutor and was the Lord Mayor in the 70s.

“I had a great primary education and a wonderful experience at Tameside College to prepare me for doing my degree at Manchester Polytechnic and it worked for me,” he told BBC NWT.

“I achieved what I needed to do and it’s thanks to my experience growing up here that put me there.”

Prior to yesterday’s Honorary Degree ceremony, TV and radio personality Clive Anderson, a former barrister, gave this year’s Foundation Lecture entitled ‘Is it time to have TV cameras in court?’

A spokesman for the university said: “The University of Manchester has awarded honorary degrees to five outstanding individuals, including Mick Hucknall.”

Hucknall has sold more than 50 million albums over 25 years before Simply Red performed their farewell show in 2010.

In 2013 Hucknall embarks on a solo UK tour performing his American Soul collection.

Born in Denton, Manchester, he is active in politics as a prominent supporter of the Labour Party and is a keen Manchester United fan.

This year’s Foundation Lecture was given by Clive Anderson, a former barrister, best known for being a comedy writer as well as a radio and TV presenter.

He hosted ten series of the hit TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? as well as his own chat show on Channel Four, Clive Anderson Talks Back. He has also appeared regularly on Have I Got News for You, Mock the Week and QI.

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