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Cattrall university fellowship 'a dream come true'

Sex And The City star Kim Cattrall said it was a "dream come true" to become an honorary fellow at a university today.

The actress, who plays raunchy Samantha Jones in the New York-based show, received her fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University during a ceremony in the city's Anglican cathedral.

With her mother Shane Cattrall and other relatives looking on, the 53-year-old made a speech to hundreds of graduates and their families.

Wearing a gown and a cap the university vice chancellor Professor Michael Brown had placed on her head, she spoke from a lectern and stressed the importance of families in the development of young people.

She said: "This is as much about family as it is about one individual.

"My family is here with me today. My mum, my aunties, my cousins, my friends. They have given me such confidence to make me believe that I could achieve anything I wanted to if I worked hard enough and I stayed true to myself."

She added: "To all of you graduating today, I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations - you've worked damn hard," to which cheers and applause echoed around the cathedral.

Cattrall was born in the Mossley Hill area of Liverpool before moving to Canada with her family. She returned to the city on occasions as she grew up, but settled in America.

In her speech she said she was a proud daughter of the North West, and called it her home.

She said: "Whoever said 'you can't go home again' didn't come from Liverpool. I feel very connected to this city. From the very beginning, coming from Liverpool meant I was special."

Before the presentation, Cattrall posed for photographers on the steps of the vast cathedral.

A reporter asked her how she felt, and she beamed: "This is a dream come true."

When she took to the lectern to make her short speech to the audience of thousands, she joked: "I think this is the first time I have ever been called a fellow. I promise to behave myself because I am in a church."

Her speech had a more serious message as she urged the new graduates to carry on studying and be proud of their achievement.

She told them: "I encourage you all to not stop learning. When you stop growing, you get old. May that never happen to you.

"This represents an enormous step in your lives. And after today you will be graduates of Liverpool John Moores University wherever you go in the world."

In an echo of an anthemic song by the 1960s Liverpool band Gerry And The Pacemakers, she said: "Even if you get as far as the Wirral or Warrington, you will always have a part of Liverpool in your heart. You will never walk alone.

"I am proud of my roots in Liverpool, I feel part of this city. Thank you for bringing me home."

© Press Association