Page last updated at 18:21 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Pulp singer given honorary degree

Jarvis Cocker receiving his honorary degree
The singer studied at the institution when it was Sheffield Polytechnic

Former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker has been given an honorary degree in his home city of Sheffield.

The singer picked up the doctorate at Sheffield Hallam University.

Cocker, who has also had success as a solo artist and radio producer, studied at the institution when it was Sheffield Polytechnic.

Receiving his certificate at a ceremony at City Hall, the 46-year-old said: "I'm called a doctor now. Don't worry, I won't open a surgery."

He added: "But I guess if you are a songwriter maybe I could have some kind of musical surgery.

It's a great honour to be given this, especially in my home town
Jarvis Cocker

"If you had a song with a swollen chorus, or a varicose verse, or if you need a little bit of help I could try and heal your song for you."

Cocker did an access course at the poly before winning a place at Central St Martin's College of Art and Design in London.

The singer had his big break with Pulp at Sheffield Polytechnic in 1981 when they handed over a demo tape to John Peel, and he invited them to record a session for Radio 1.

The band went on to be nominated for a Mercury Music Prize in 1994 and the following year their single Common People reached number two in the charts.

In the past decade the singer has launched a solo career and also moved into film-making and art.

He told graduates at City Hall, who were there to collect certificates, that he had done most of his learning outside formal classrooms.

"Sometimes people call it the university of life," he said.

"The only trouble with the university of life is the graduation when you've checked out, so it's nice to actually have a graduation whilst I'm still here to enjoy it.

"It's a great honour to be given this, especially in my home town."



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