Angela Rippon given honorary degree for raising dementia awareness
Angela receives her honorary degree from Newcastle University
The former golden girl of BBC’s flagship Nine O’Clock News bulletins who carved a mainstream television career after dancing alongside Morecambe and Wise in their 1976 Christmas Special, received an honorary doctor of civil law degree at Newcastle University.
In recent years the 70-year-old has become an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society and co-chairs the Prime Minister’s Dementia Friendly Communities Champions Group.
She said: “I’m enormously honoured.
“For someone who never actually went to university, there’s an irony of me standing here and getting a doctorate.
“But it is an enormous honour and, for me, a day of great pride. My family come from this part of the world and also being associated with Newcastle University and the work that it does with their Institute of Ageing.
For someone who never actually went to university, there’s an irony of me standing here and getting a doctorate
“I work for the Alzheimer’s Society as a volunteer and the work that they do here in highlighting the importance of recognising dementia and treating it has been absolutely ground-breaking over the years.
“To know that I am now associated with the university through this doctorate and the work that is being done is enormously gratifying.”
Plymouth-born Ms Rippon’s mother suffered from dementia and she says that ever since then she has tried to speak out about the condition to remove some of the fear that exists around it.
“My late mother Edna was diagnosed with vascular dementia and at that point, having no knowledge of dementia, I suddenly had to do a crash course in the condition,” she added.
“At that time, and still in certain quarters, dementia is an illness that has a stigma attached to it, people just don’t understand it and they’re afraid of it.
“But I felt it was very important for people who had the opportunity occasionally of a public platform to speak very personally and honestly about the condition to try and take away some of the fear and stigma that exists.”