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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 July 2006, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Big Yin awarded honorary degree
Annie Lennox, Billy Connolly and Tilda Swinton
The celebrities were honoured for their contribution to performing arts
Comic legend Billy Connolly has received an honorary degree.

The former shipyard welder, who left school aged 15, received his award from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in Glasgow.

Connolly was presented with an honorary doctorate for services to performing arts along with Aberdeen-born singer Annie Lennox and actress Tilda Swinton.

He said: "When you get honoured like this it is just a big 'Thank you very much'. I think it is wonderful."

The 63-year-old entertainer said he was "all for" drama schools.

I'm very happy to be here, even though I feel like a complete fraud
Annie Lennox

He added: "I'm going to be a doctor but I can't write prescriptions.

"It's brilliant to be honoured this way because if you don't do education the first time around you go through life thinking you're not that bright.

"I think to be given an award like this encourages people in all walks of life to try hard."

Connolly was accompanied to the ceremony by his wife Pamela Stephenson.

He was awarded a doctorate of letters from the University of Glasgow in 2001.

'Expensively over-educated'

Former Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox said she was "delighted" but felt like a complete fraud accepting the degree.

She said: "It's exciting, it's great.

"What I have done with my life has all been about self-invention and I didn't have degrees or qualifications or anyone to guide me and I still work very much in that way.

"But I do think it's great that young people today can have people to help them out because Scotland has turned out some tremendous artists and performer and writers and if we can keep that tradition going, it would be a fantastic thing.

"I'm very happy to be here, even though I feel like a complete fraud."

Lennox, 51, was honoured alongside actress Tilda Swinton, who starred as the White Witch in the Chronicles Of Narnia.

Swinton, 45, who lives in Nairn, said: "It's very exciting, I'm going to be a doctor and I'm going to get a stethoscope and be examining people after lunch.

"It is a bitter irony to be here but it's a lovely opportunity.

"I was expensively over-educated and learned absolutely nothing at all.

"I think it's really wonderful to remind students that being contrary or working out what you think about things is not necessarily a bad thing, because very often college is about teaching people how other people think."

See the famous trio receive the doctorates

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