Sunday 11 December 2016

David Tennant returns to acting school for honorary degree

Published 05/07/2016 | 13:21

David Tennant was awarded an honorary drama doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
David Tennant was awarded an honorary drama doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Dr Who star David Tennant travelled back in time as he returned to his old acting school to pick up an honorary degree.

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The Broadchurch actor was awarded an honorary drama doctorate from his alma mater, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The 46-year-old was recognised during a ceremony in Glasgow along with choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne and cellist Ralph Kirshbaum.

Tennant studied drama at the Conservatoire from 1988 to 1991, then known as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, before enjoying success on stage and screen.

He has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and more recently starred in the Bafta award-winning ITV series Broadchurch, but it was his turn as the 10th Doctor that secured him cult fame.

Tennant said: "I'm honoured and rather humbled to be here - it's all quite overwhelming but lovely to be back. It evokes some very vivid memories.

"It was a very important time for me. I don't think I would have survived without my time here - for me it was essential. Three years of getting to practice in a safe environment.

"I was quite young, quite green, and I did a lot of growing up here and learned an enormous amount. They were very formative years that I look back on very fondly."

Asked if he had any career advice for drama graduates, he said: "I try not to give advice because I don't know that any of it ever makes sense.

"It's such a weird profession, there aren't any certainties about it.

"All you can say is how it's been for you and give a sense of what to expect - just to keep breathing really.

"It's an overcrowded profession as we know and there are not enough jobs to go around, so you just have to keep calm and carry on, I suppose."

Tennant was honoured on the same day as Dr Who writer Steven Moffat was receiving an honorary degree from the University of the West of Scotland in Paisley.

Moffat, who like Tennant grew up in the Renfrewshire town, has racked up several hit series in his career, from Press Gang to Coupling and Sherlock.

Moffat said: "It's always a joy to go home - but to go back to Paisley to receive a doctorate feels like I finally made it. I feel very honoured, and more importantly very happy."

Professor Craig Mahoney, principal of the University of the West of Scotland, said: "Steven is quite simply one of the country's greatest screenwriters and through his work on both the small and big screen he has brought joy to millions of viewers worldwide.

"He is great role model for anyone, not just our students, and demonstrates that your path in life will be determined by your own passion for the things you believe in and that anyone can have success if they work hard."

Press Association

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