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The comedian Eddie Izzard has been awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his contribution to entertainment and the millions of pounds he has raised for charity.
He was given the award by the University of Sunderland alongside hundreds of students collecting their degrees.
He had this advice for them - 'shoot for the stars and you might reach the moon".
It is said he was the man who steered South Tyneside’s leading arts venue to success is to have his achievements recognised with an honorary degree.
Ray Spencer, MBE, executive director of the Customs House in South Shields has received an Honorary Arts Fellowship from Sunderland University.
He joined Custom House over 10 years ago when the theatre and arts complex was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Since then he's transformed the venue making it one of the region’s leading arts and entertainment venues.
Eddie Izzard told students graduating at the University of Sunderland that they must 'shoot for the stars."
He gave a speech after collecting his honorary degree saying:
Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard was given an honorary degree today from the University of Sunderland.
He is one of many celebrities this week receiving the accolade.
Eddie Izzard is one of Britain's best-known comedians and has won two Emmy Awards during his career.
In August 2009 he ran 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief, raising £1.85m.
Steve Cram will be also be collecting his award today
Latest ITV News reports
Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard was given an honorary degree today from Sunderland University.