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Katie Derham
  • Ceremony 1 – 9.30am

Katie Derham will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Music (DMus) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts and broadcasting.

Katie Derham is a presenter on BBC Radio 3 and one of the station’s best known voices, currently presenting drive time programme In Tune, fronting the show on rotation with Sean Rafferty. Other Radio 3 credits include Sound of Dance and Afternoons.

She has also been the face of the BBC Proms since 2010 and hosts the weekly magazine show Proms Encore every Saturday on BBC2 during the season. Katie also presented for BBC Four’s series of Discovering concert programmes in 2019, and was the host of All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge for BBC4 and Fine Tuned, two specials for Sky Arts in which she discussed music with Alexander Armstrong alongside exclusive performances from his latest albums.

In 2015 Katie’s career took a decidedly glittery direction when she took part in Strictly Come Dancing and reached the final, in 2017 she was crowned Strictly Christmas champion.

Katie said: “I am thrilled and honoured to be awarded an honorary doctorate of music. Music has always been a huge part of my life, and I’m very lucky that my passion is also my job, spreading the word about the joys of music at Radio 3 and at the BBC Proms. And as a Cheshire girl, I’m also delighted to be back in Chester, a city I’ve always loved.”

Dame Jenni Murray will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to journalism and broadcasting.

Jenni Murray was born and educated in Barnsley, and has a degree in French and Drama from the University of Hull. She joined BBC Radio Bristol in 1973 and went on to report and present for BBC TV's South Today. In 1983, she joined Newsnight. Two years later, she moved to Radio 4 as a presenter for the Today programme. She became the regular presenter of Woman's Hour in 1987.

Jenni writes regularly for various newspapers and magazines. She is also the author of several books including A History of Britain in 21 Women; A History of the World in 21 Women: A Personal Selection; The Woman's Hour: A History of Women Since World War II, Is It Me or Is It Hot In Here: A Modern Woman's Guide to the Menopause; That's My Boy and Memoirs of a Not So Dutiful Daughter.

In 1998, Jenni was nominated Radio Broadcaster of the Year and in the Queen's Birthday Honours 1999, she was awarded an OBE for radio broadcasting. In 2007, she became a member of the Radio Academy Hall of Fame and was given a lifetime achievement award by the Media Society.

In 2010, she won a Sony Award for her interview with Sharon Shoesmith and, in 2011, Sony Gold for an outstanding and exemplary career.

In the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours she became Dame Jenni Murray.

Jenni said: “I'm thrilled to receive an honorary degree from the University of Chester. Always one of my favourite places in the North West.”

Ceremony 3 – 3.00pm

Wayne McGregor - photo credit Pal Hansen.jpg

Wayne McGregor - photo credit Pal Hansen
Wayne McGregor - photo credit Pal Hansen

Wayne McGregor CBE will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to choreography and dance.

Born in 1970, Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi award-winning British choreographer and director, internationally renowned for trailblazing innovations in performance that have radically redefined dance in the modern era. Driven by an insatiable curiosity about movement and its creative potentials, his experiments have led him into collaborative dialogue with an array of artistic forms, scientific disciplines, and technological interventions. The startling and multi-dimensional works resulting from these interactions have ensured McGregor’s position at the cutting edge of contemporary arts for over 25 years.

Studio Wayne McGregor is the creative engine of McGregor’s life-long choreographic enquiry into thinking through and with the body. It encompasses his own touring company of dancers, Company Wayne McGregor; creative collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science; and highly specialised learning, engagement and research programmes. In March 2017, Studio Wayne McGregor moved into its own newly created studio space at Here East in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a shared space where the creative brains of the day can exchange knowledge and invent together.

Company Wayne McGregor is McGregor’s ensemble of highly skilled dancers. Founded in 1993, this was the original instrument through which McGregor evolved his distinctive visual style, revealing the movement possibilities of the body in ever more precise degrees of articulation. McGregor has made over 30 works for the company and today it continues to be his laboratory for ambitious and experimental new choreography, touring his work across the UK and around the world. Company Wayne McGregor is the Resident Company at Sadler’s Wells, London.

McGregor is also Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet, where his productions are acclaimed for their daring reconfiguring of classical language. He is also regularly commissioned by and has works in the repertories of the most important ballet companies in the world, including Paris Opera Ballet, Munich Ballet, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, NDT 1, Australian Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.

He is in demand as a choreographer for theatre (Old Vic, National Theatre, Royal Court, Donmar Warehouse), opera (La Scala/Royal Opera, ENO), film (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Legend of Tarzan, Fantastic Beasts 1 and 2, Sing, Mary Queen of Scots), music videos (Radiohead, Thom Yorke, The Chemical Brothers), fashion shows (Gareth Pugh at London Fashion Week 2017), campaigns (everyBODY for Selfridges) and TV (The 2016 Brit Awards Opening Sequence, Paloma Faith’s Brit Awards performance 2015). Some of the long list of artists who have partnered with McGregor through more than 20 years of collaborative multi-disciplinary work include John Tavener, Audrey Niffenegger, Jamie xx, Max Richter, Jlin, Olafur Eliasson, Ben Frost, Kaija Saariaho, Thom Yorke, Mark Wallinger, Random International, Jon Hopkins, John Pawson and Mark-Anthony Turnage.

Wayne McGregor is Professor of Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and is part of the Circle of Cultural Fellows at King’s College London. In 2017 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association. He became an Arts Foundation Ambassador in 2019.

McGregor's work has earned him a multitude of awards including four Critics' Circle National Dance Awards, two Time Out Awards, two South Bank Show Awards, two Olivier Awards, a prix Benois de la Danse and two Golden Mask Awards. In 2011 McGregor was awarded a CBE for Services to Dance. 

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