Broadcaster and journalist Andrew Marr is set to be awarded an honorary doctorate at St Andrews University’s graduations.
In the first in-person ceremonies since coronavirus hit last year, some 600 students will graduate in the town next week.
Mr Marr, who attended Dundee High School and grew up in Longforgan, will be one of three people awarded honorary doctorates.
Mathematician Professor Caroline Series will join the first ceremony on November 30, where she will be awarded a doctor of science.
Internationally renowned musician Professor Joanna MacGregor will then receive her doctor of music in the afternoon.
Mr Marr will be given his doctor of letters on December 1.
Speaking to The Courier, the journalist says he is honoured to receive the recognition from St Andrews University.
‘I went there to buy books as a small boy’
He said: “I went there with my mother to buy books as a small boy. I wasn’t at the university, but it’s where I got a lot of my book learning.”
Mr Marr also says he is looking to forward to seeing people graduate alongside him, saying “we’ve had far too long on Zoom”.
Asked what advice he would give to fellow graduates starting out in their career, Mr Marr says they should “never give up”.
It was almost by accident that I got my break on the Scotsman [newspaper]
He said: “I started writing endless letters and I had endless interviews and rejections. It was almost by accident that I got my break on the Scotsman, and that came quite late.
“It can be quite disheartening when you are starting out, so you do just have to keep going. If you are dogged, you’ll get there.
“It’s always very cheering to see the next generation come through to graduate and go forward.”
Top journalist’s advice to fellow graduates
The university says it has decided to honour Mr Marr in recognition of his distinguished career as an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and leading figure at the BBC for 21 years.
Mr Marr recently announced he would leave the BBC, where he has appointed political editor in 2000.
Since 2005 he has presented his Sunday morning show, The Andrew Marr Show, interviewing leading political figures, including prime ministers, as well musicians such as Sir Elton John.
Mr Marr says that starting out at the Scotsman, he never thought he might one day rise to the top of the BBC.
He added: “I’m a writer, and I’ve always been a writer rather than a broadcaster. When I was younger I never thought I would get on television because I look too odd.
“I’ve been very lucky to have, in a sense, two kinds of career – with the newspaper years in Edinburgh and London and the broadcasting years.
“And in a way, I am now going back to do more radio, which I am very excited about.”
The St Andrews graduations come after Dundee University’s first ceremonies for two years last week.
Look out for our online picture galleries from next week’s graduations.