Honorary Fellows 2005

Bill Bryson OBE

For services to cultural studies and imaginative writing

Bill Bryson is one of the world’s most respected travel writers. In his highly acclaimed book, Notes from a Small Island, voted in a national poll as the book which best represents Britain, he wrote of Liverpool: “I am exceedingly fond of Liverpool. It is probably my favourite English city.” 

His acclaimed book on the history of science, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won the Royal Society’s Aventis Prize as well as the Descartes Prize, the European Union’s highest literary award. In 2006, Bill was awarded an honorary OBE for his contribution to literature.

Read the oration for Bill Bryson.

Lawrence Challis OBE

For services to science

Professor Challis retired  from a distinguished career in academia to concentrate on his research on the health effects of non-ionising radiation which started in 1999 when he became Vice-Chairman of the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones. He is the former Chairman of the Programme Management Committee of the UK Mobile Telecommunications Health Research (MTHR) Programme.

Read the oration for Lawrence Challis.

Andrew Collinge

For services to business and commerce

Andrew is one of the UK’s most respected figures in the field of hairdressing. His commitment to improving the standards of British hairdressing is evidenced through the Andrew Collinge Academies which encourage and train talented young people in the profession. He has remained loyal to the North West and runs the company, with its international links, from its headquarters in Liverpool.

Read the oration for Andrew Collinge.

Barbara Dickson OBE

For services to music and the dramatic arts

Barbara is one of the musical theatre’s most popular and versatile actresses and singers.

Her distinctive style found a home in Liverpool, where her collaboration with Willy Russell (also a Fellow of the University) brought her widespread acclaim in performances in John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert and Blood Brothers.

Read the oration for Barbara Dickson.

Sir Mark Hedley

For services to the legal profession

High Court Judge Sir Mark has made outstanding professional and non-professional contributions to family and child law and his local community in Liverpool. He retains strong links with Liverpool; he has lived in Everton since he was offered a place in Chambers in the city in 1971. 

In the mid-1990s, he helped establish the Alder Hey Children’s Rights Advisory Group, created to help with difficult cases of medical treatment of children. He is also the former Chancellor of the Diocese, the ecclesiastical judge for the Diocese of Liverpool.

Read the oration for Sir Mark Hedley.

Michelle Lewis MBE

For outstanding contributions to charity and sport

Liverpool born and bred, Michelle Lewis has become one of the UK’s most inspirational fundraisers. She has won dozens of awards, finished second and fourth in the London Marathon, and raised £2 million for charity. Such amazing achievements would be unthinkable even in a lifetime, but the extraordinary Michelle Lewis did all this before she was 23. 

In 2002, Michelle became the youngest person to receive the MBE since the Second World War, for services to charitable fund-raising.

Read the oration for Michelle Lewis.

Mike McCartney

For outstanding contribution to culture and the arts

Mike has had a major cultural influence on Merseyside since the early 1960s when he and his fellow humorists formed The Scaffold. His photographs have been exhibited widely, not only in Liverpool but in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery and in publications such as Q magazine, which featured two of his pictures in their special edition The Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Photographs of all time.

Read the oration for Mike McCartney.

David McLean

For services to the regeneration of Liverpool

A property developer and entrepreneur, David began his business in the early 1970s and has gone on to grow a group of companies that are at the heart of the regeneration of the North West. His name represents high quality, contemporary development which has given the city new features and landmarks.

Read the oration for David McLean.

Paul O'Grady MBE

For services to television and entertainment

Paul first found fame as his drag queen comedic alter ego, Lily Savage, an act which won him the Perrier Award. In 2003, he moved on from Lily to star in the sitcom Eyes Down and he also presented several travel documentaries. In 2004, he began presenting his own chat shows; they were a huge success and ran for many years on both ITV and Channel 4. 

In 2003, Paul was named in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy and, in 2006, was listed by The Independent at number 32 in their 101 most influential gay people in Britain. In 2008, Paul was awarded an MBE for services to entertainment.

Read the oration for Paul O'Grady.

David M Robinson

For services to the jewellery profession

David is known for his high quality, innovative and cutting-edge design in the jewellery business. A traditional practical jeweller, David opened his first business in Liverpool in 1968 and now operates across the region. In 35 years of business David has won numerous prestigious awards for jewellery design, building a reputation as a cutting-edge design practitioner.

Read the oration for David M Robinson.