Line of Duty star Vicky McClure has described receiving an honorary degree from the University of Nottingham today as a "surreal day".
McClure, who had learnt her craft at the renowned Television Workshop in Nottingham, will be made a Doctor of Letters in front of hundreds of students graduating from the university's school of Sociology and Social Policy.
The actress has been credited for leaving a 'lasting legacy' through her 'milestone' work on dementia, which has helped improve public awareness on the condition and offer a better understanding on the way music can help sufferers.
Speaking after the ceremony, she said:
"I never expected to be step foot in a University and be awarded this honour at the University of Nottingham".
Where the dementia choir began and the way in which everything has come together is sort of.. mindblowing really".
The 39-year old actress received her degree from the university's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, Professor Robert Mokaya, before delivering an inspirational speech to the graduands.
The BAFTA Award winning actor is best known for her roles as Detective Inspector Kate Fleming in the BBC series Line of Duty, and Lol Jenkins in the film This Is England and its sequel mini-series on Channel 4.
Vicky grew up in Wollaton, Nottingham, taking dance lessons from the age of three, and went on to earn a place at the Television Workshop aged 11.
In 2018, she joined forces with the University of Nottingham for the documentary Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure.
Over the course of three months, working with the university and renowned scientists, she discovered the physical and emotional effects of music on the brain and created a choir of people living with dementia.
It was Vicky's close personal experience of dementia, through caring for her Nana Iris, and through her role as an ambassador for the Alzheimer's Society, where she saw first-hand how music and singing had affected people living with dementia.
The documentary demonstrated how music can stimulate a brain damaged by dementia and left a lasting legacy in our understanding of how music therapy can help people with dementia.
Vicky McClure said: "The Dementia Choir have taught me so much over the years. Through the TV series to it becoming a registered charity, it is by far my proudest work to date."
She adds: "To have my work with dementia recognised by the University of Nottingham is a real honour.
"They have played a huge part in helping myself and viewers of the series understand scientifically, the positive effects music has to people living with dementia."
Justine Schneider, Professor of Mental Health and Social Care at the University of Nottingham, whose current research looks at dementia and singing, will introduce McClure to the stage.
Professor Schneider said: "Vicky McClure's commitment to the cause of dementia is deeply personal, strong and lasting.
"Her TV documentary with the Dementia Choir is a milestone in public awareness of this common disorder, and has changed perceptions of what people with dementia can achieve."