The Oscar-winning Lincolnshire-born actor Jim Broadbent received an honorary doctorate from Bishop Grosseteste University at a ceremony at Lincoln Cathedral yesterday (Wednesday 20 July).
The star of Harry Potter, Only Fools and Horses, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Gangs of New York and Hot Fuzz joined 1,127 students who have been graduating from BGU this week.
He told reporters at Lincoln Cathedral how honoured he felt to be receiving an honorary degree from BGU.
“It’s a great honour – I’m surprised to be here! I never thought I’d get a degree and graduate so I’m thrilled to be here in the cathedral, which has been a big reference point in my whole life.”
One of England’s most versatile character actors, Jim Broadbent was born in Holton-cum-Beckering near Market Rasen and still has close connections with the county.
He is Honorary President of the Lindsey Rural Players, whose home is the Broadbent Theatre in Wickenby; his father Roy was involved in the conversion of the Methodist chapel to a theatre in 1971.
In 2002 he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of John Bayley in Iris and a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA for his performance as Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge.
Jim Broadbent had this advice for the drama students graduating from BGU yesterday:
“Try everything, spread your net wide and get as many experiences as possible. While you’re young is the time to do it so make the most of it!”