Local actor and TV star, Stephen Tompkinson, has received his Honorary Doctorate on a windy, final day of Graduation week at Teesside University.
The Stockton born actor is well known for his roles on stage and screen, the most well known being current character, Alan Banks, from DCI Banks.
As well as coming back to the local area to see family and friends, Tompinkson revealed that he was quite a big sports fan and is an avid fan of Middlesbrough football club.
Whilst thanking a number of different people, including his family and the writers for his previous and current tv shows, he said: “Middlesbrough Football Club, I have got to thank them for constant inspiration and teaching me all aspects of life, not just winning.”
He also predicted that the team would get promoted to the Premier League next season through automatic promotion, referring negatively to the play-off final game, last season, against Norwich.
But amongst the jokes, he talked about the spirit of the people of Teesside and how they came together recently at the victory against Manchester United, referring to the light display for the workers of SSI, who lost their jobs.
He said: “I thought it was so beautiful going to Old Trafford and to pay homage to the Steelworkers who lost their jobs in the way that they did. It says alot about this area and this community.”
As well as praise for the local area, he was also impressed by the ‘new look’ of the University campus.
Looking out of the window into the heart of the university, he said: “[the university] are attracting people from all over and they are getting such a good reputation and it is a reputation that they will build on.”
“They keep developing and it is just fantastic,” he added.
As well as giving an insight into what he was like as a student, where he admitted he was a hard worker, he finished off with a few words of advice for students at Teesside University, looking to get into the acting industry.
As well as mentioning some of his personal tips on how to get into an acting career, he gave some advice for students to take on board, saying: “My maxim has always been, as much as you can, try and shape your career as if you can try and do something completely different from the last job, you will never get bored, and that will transfer to the audience.”