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Widdecombe, Holland and Underwood are appointed honorary fellows

03 February 2009

Canterbury Christ Church University has conferred Honorary Fellowships upon the Rt. Hon Ann Widdecombe, Jools Holland OBE and Derek Underwood MBE.

From left to right: Bishop of Dover, Stephen Venner, Honorary Fellow, Jools Holland and Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Wright.
From left to right: Bishop of Dover, Stephen Venner, Honorary Fellow, Jools Holland and Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Wright.

The eminent politician, popular pianist and foremost international cricketer were officially welcomed into the University’s Honorary Fellowship at Canterbury Cathedral on Friday 30th January 2009 at Canterbury Christ Church’s graduation ceremony.

Rt. Hon Ann Widdecombe said: "This is a great honour and I look forward to my association with Canterbury Christ Church University."

Jools Holland OBE said: “I am delighted and proud to be appointed an Honorary Fellow by Canterbury Christ Church University, particularly in the beautiful and gothic setting of Canterbury Cathedral.  It is a great pleasure and significant honour, and I would like to thank the University for welcoming me into their honorary fellowship.”

Derek Underwood MBE said: “I am delighted to be awarded this Honorary Fellowship by Canterbury Christ Church University.  Cricket has been my life and I trust this award will help to encourage students to go for gold and realise their dreams.  May the existing relationship between Kent County Cricket Club and Canterbury Christ Church University continue to flourish in the future.”

From left to right: Bishop of Dover, Stephen Venner, Honorary Fellow, Derek Underwood MBE and Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Wright.
From left to right: Bishop of Dover, Stephen Venner, Honorary Fellow, Derek Underwood MBE and Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Wright.

Vice Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, Professor Michael Wright, said: “I am delighted to confer honorary fellowships to Ann Widdecombe, Jools Holland and Derek Underwood. An honorary fellowship is one of Canterbury Christ Church University’s most significant accolades.  Each year, following very careful consideration, the University bestows an honorary fellowship on distinguished individuals who merit special recognition for outstanding achievement and distinction in a field consonant with the mission of the University.”

Jools Holland OBE

Jools Holland was born in South East London in 1958.  At the age of eight, he could play the piano fluently by ear and when aged 15 formed the band ‘Squeeze’ with hits ‘Up The Junction’ and ‘Cool for Cats’.  In 1987 he formed The Jools Holland Band, which metamorphosed into the current 20-piece Rhythm and Blue Orchestra.  Jools has maintained a prolific recording career, which includes the multimillion selling ‘Jools and Friends’ series.  TV work included becoming co-presenter of ‘The Tube’ in 1980.  He presented two series of ‘Juke Box Jury’ in 1989 and then 26 shows of ‘The Happening’ in 1990.  In 1992 he hosted ‘Later...with Jools Holland’ for BBC2, and the 33rd series is due later this year.  ‘Jools’ New Years Eve show’ is in its 16th year.  Jools was awarded the OBE in 2003 and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Kent in 2005.  He plays at many charity functions.  His autobiography, ‘Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts’, was published in 2007.  His new album ‘The Informer’ was released in November 2008.

Rt. Hon Anne Widdecombe.

The Rt. Hon Ann Widdecombe is MP for Maidstone and the Weald.  Born in 1947, Ann gained honours degrees in Latin and in Politics and Economics and has an MA from Oxford University.  Ann was elected as MP in 1987.  From 1990, she was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Social Security and then Employment, then Minister of State at the Department of Employment, and in 1995 she was appointed Minister of State at the Home Office.  In 1997 she was appointed to the Standards and Privileges House of Commons Select Committee.  She was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Health in 1998 and in 1999 was appointed Shadow Home Secretary.  In 2001, she announced her decision to retire from the Shadow Cabinet citing the wish to be able to speak on issues which she felt strongly about without the constraints of office.  Ann has published her four novels, and is currently writing a prequel to ‘An Act of Treachery’.  She has appeared in various television and radio programmes including ‘Ann Widdecombe to the Rescue’, ‘Call My Bluff’, and ‘Grumpy Old Women'.

Mr Derek Underwood MBE

Derek Underwood was a professional cricketer with Kent from 1962 to 1987, with 520 appearances in first class matches for Kent and forth highest in the Club’s history.  Derek took 2,456 first class wickets with his best performance being 9 for 28 against Sussex in 1964. In 1984 he scored his one and only century for Kent at Hastings against Sussex.  During his international career, he played in 86 test matches for England taking 297 test wickets and is best remembered for his performance against Australia in 1968 taking 7 for 50. He was awarded the MBE in 1980 for services to cricket. Derek is a Patron of The Primary Club, Chairman of The Stars Foundation for Cerebral Palsy, and became President of Kent County Cricket Club in 2006 and President of MCC in 2008/09.  Currently, Derek is Sales Director with a company that manufactures and installs non-turf cricket pitches.  His interests include golf, philately and music.

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Claire Draper
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