St Andrews University to honour ‘Sirs’ Attenborough and Regrave ‘Action’ promised to tackle HMO hazard

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Sir David Attenborough, recognised as the world’s leading natural history film-maker, and Sir Stephen Redgrave, Britain’s greatest-ever Olympian, are to be honoured by St Andrews University this summer.

They are among a dozen individuals from the spheres of sport, academia, law and literature, who will be conferred with honorary doctorates by the university in a series of eight graduation ceremonies over four days in June.

Sir David will be awarded an honorary degree of doctor of science, while Sir Steve will become a doctor of laws.

Joining them at the traditional summer ceremonies in the Younger Hall from June 21-24 will be the Scots poet, translator and travel writer Alastair Reid. He is returning to his Alma Mater to collect his second degree, having first graduated from the university in 1949 as an MA in English-Philosophy.

Sir David, who will receive his honorary degree on the second day of the annual programme, has been at the forefront as naturalist and broadcaster for almost 50 years. Over the last 25 years he has further established his worldwide reputation with several landmark BBC series.

A graduate of Cambridge University, he joined the BBC in 1952 as a trainee producer and it was while working on the Zoo Quest series that he had his first opportunity to undertake expeditions to remote parts of the globe to capture intimate footage of rare wildlife in its natural habitat. He was Controller of BBC2 (1965-68), during which time he introduced colour television to Britain, then director of programmes for the BBC (1969-1972). In 1973 he abandoned administration altogether to return to documentary-making and writing.

Sir David was knighted in 1985.

Sir Steve Redgrave is one of only four Olympians to have won a gold medal at five consecutive Olympic Games (1984-2000). The winner of three Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine World Rowing Championships gold medals, from the early nineties, he dominated the field, winning almost every race in which he competed.

In 2000 he retired from sport and in the same year was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.