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Brian Blessed

Honorary Doctorate - 2004

Mexborough-born and the son of a coal miner, Brian Blessed's varied and distinguished career has made him one of the country's most highly respected actors.

Trained at Bristol's Old Vic Theatre School, Brian first rose to fame as PC Fancy Smith in Z Cars. He has subsequently enjoyed success in West End hit Cats, treading the boards with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and in high profile roles such as Richard IV in cult sitcom Blackadder and Squire Western in the BBC drama series Tom Jones.

Brian's big screen parts include Vultan in Flash Gordon, Boss Nass in Star Wars the Phantom Menace, and as Lord Locksley in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner.

A keen mountaineer, Brian holds the record for reaching 28,000 feet up Everest in 1993 - the highest a man of his age had ever climbed without oxygen. He also holds the record for being the oldest man to reach the North Pole.

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