Drama centre named after thespian Sir Patrick

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A university has honoured the world-famous thespian Sir Patrick Stewart by naming its drama department after him.

The Mirfield-born actor was at Huddersfield University on Tuesday to unveil a plaque at the official re-naming ceremony of the Sir Patrick Stewart Building.

Sir Patrick joins historical figures including the Brontes, Richard Oastler and Joseph Priestley in having a building named after him at the university.

He told of how he studied at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School with a grant from the old county council - many years before the burden of today’s tuition fees - before becoming chancellor of Huddersfield University more than 40 years later.

He said: “Not only would this finally take care of promises I had made to those West Riding councillors, but it would also return me to my community - and I hadn’t realised until then how much I wanted to be back.

“Thanks to the university, over the last 12 years I have spent a lot of time in Huddersfield and my home town of Mirfield, and it makes me very proud”.

Sir Patrick, who is currently on tour with Sir Ian McKellen in Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land, was chancellor from 2004 until 2015, when he handed the role over to the Duke of York.

Tuesday’s event saw him unveil a plaque on the Victorian church, previously known as the Milton building

He also enjoyed performances from drama students and took part in a question and answer session..

The the University’s vice-chancellor Prof Bob Cryan said: “Far from being a figure from the mists of time, he is here with us today and he is a very much a figure of today.

“Sir Patrick Stewart has had a long and distinguished acting career.

“But he just seems to be more and more in demand and to display more and more versatility.”