Video: Actress Keeley Hawes proud to pick up honorary doctorate from UCS in front of her children and husband Matthew Macfadyen

Actor Keeley Hawes recieves an honorary degree from UCS.

Actor Keeley Hawes recieves an honorary degree from UCS.

The latest graduate of University Campus Suffolk has said she was “completely stunned” when told she would be honoured by the institution six months ago.

And after picking up her doctorate at Ipswich Town Hall yesterday Keeley Hawes said everyone involved in the ceremony had “been really generous and kind”.

The Spooks and Ashes to Ashes actress is one of several people receiving honorary awards from the university during their ceremonies this week.

Like the hundreds of others picking up their certificates Hawes was watched by her husband, fellow actor Matthew Macfadyen, and three children.

After the ceremony she said: “They looked very proud. It’s a very big day, it’s been absolutely amazing.

“I was really touched, really genuinely thrilled and honoured to be receiving this.

“I got an email about six months ago saying they’d like to give this to me. I was completely stunned, it came out of the blue.

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Hawes was chosen to receive the doctorate because of her position as ambassador for Childnet International, a charity working to make sure children stay safe on the internet and has worked on this with UCS.

She said the doctorate would help to raise the profile of the organisation and awareness of the issues it tackles.

“Anything that goes towards raising their profiles is good. They’ve been working with Dr Emma Bond who gave the oratory today on me which was very lovely and flattering.

“She’s looking at children’s safety on the internet and broadening the way that we work.”

During her speech to the other graduates Hawes said: “I am extremely lucky in my chosen career to work with some amazing people.

“I recently was fortunate enough to work with a real heroine of mine, Dame Judi Dench, and she said something to me that really struck a chord.

“She said ‘when you stop laughing it’s all over’. And I really think she’s right. Whatever field we choose to devote our lives to, be it entertainment or any of the social sciences, it always comes down to the same thing – to be successful and to be happy we have to enjoy what we do.

“So here’s to you. Please enjoy what you do because you are brilliant, you are an inspiration.”