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Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Picard beams down for university honour
Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart is being honoured for his acting work
Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart OBE has received an earthly honour from the University of Wales, Cardiff.

Stewart - who plays Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation - was presented with an honorary fellowship in a ceremony on Monday at St David's Hall.
Shirley Bassey
Shirley Bassey could not attend the ceremony

Welsh legend Dame Shirley Bassey was forced to pull out of attending the awards ceremony due to a concert commitment.

Miss Bassey was performing in a show abroad and said she hoped to pick up her honorary fellowship in her home city next year.

Yorkshire-born Stewart is known for roles in The Next Generation, The X Men and for treading the boards in Shakespearian roles.

Commitment to arts

Staff at the university - who are writing a book on the Star Trek television series - decided to honour the star for his commitment to work in theatre, film and television.

Courses run at the university's School of Journalism span the range of Stewart's varied and distinguished acting career.

The 60-year-old former Royal Shakespeare Company actor arrived in Cardiff on Sunday to perform a one-man show called Uneasy Life Ahead..., before an audience of students and lecturers.
Rhodri Morgan, First Minister
Rhodri Morgan: Honorary degree

The government's chief scientific adviser, Professor David King, will also be honoured on Monday and Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan will receive a fellowship on Wednesday.

Stewart began his working life as a journalist on the Mirfield Reporter in Yorkshire, where he was asked to leave after spending too much time in the theatre.

He paid his way through drama school by becoming a furniture salesman and studied performing arts at Bristol's Old Vic.

Over 20 years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, he developed in to one of the UK's finest classical actors, appearing on television in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and on the big screen in Dune.

He was spotted by Star Trek producers during a visit to the United States and was chosen for the role which has secured celebrity status.

Now based in Los Angeles, Stewart returned to his roots in June to perform at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds and he was given an OBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours.

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See also:

30 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Patrick Stewart's life before Star Trek
30 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Arts world richly rewarded
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