Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 15:29 UK

EastEnders' Pat becomes a doctor

Pam St Clement
Pam St Clement grew up on a Dartmoor farm

Veteran EastEnders star Pam St Clement has received an honorary degree in education from Plymouth University.

The 66-year-old actress, who has played Pat Evans in the TV soap for more than 22 years, grew up on a Dartmoor farm.

She qualified as a teacher at Rolle Teacher Training College in east Devon and taught briefly in London before choosing acting as a career.

She received the honorary doctorate in education in a ceremony at Exeter Cathedral.

She said she did not have any regrets about not following a career as a teacher.

Failed Latin

"I do not think I was a good teacher, so I do not think I was a loss to the profession."

Ms St Clement said she was honoured to receive the award, adding: "I have the greatest respect and admiration for those working in the profession."

Before the ceremony she said she originally wanted to be a vet, but failed Latin, which was required for the profession.

Of her long career in EastEnders she said: "It is almost like having a doppelganger, my life is going along, and the other character's life is going along."

But she added: "As far as my desires are concerned I have always said I think there is a lot in the character to go.

"I think I would like to go on exploring it while it interests the audience and while it interests me."

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