BBC Three Counties Radio journalist Toby Friedner and EastEnders screenwriter Tony Jordan joined students of the University of Bedfordshire at their graduation ceremony to receive their Honorary Doctors of Arts.
Toby and Tony celebrated with students from the Faculty of Creative Arts, Technologies & Science, who marked the end of their studies with proud families and friends.
Toby, a former student of the University where he studied Media Performance with Radio, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts in recognition of his contribution to broadcasting.
On receiving his award, Toby gave the graduates some advice: “Try to be nice to everyone, because you’ll the meet the same people on the way up as you do on the way down. Make your own luck – nothing is going to fall into your lap. And most importantly of all, do something that you love. Something you can honestly tell yourself when you get up in the morning, ‘I want to go to work.’”
Toby came to the University through Clearing, having not got the grades needed to study psychology. With the guidance of his lecturers, Toby and his cohort went on to start up Luton FM, which would go on to become Radio LaB, the University’s community radio station – Toby was the station’s first manager.
Toby is now a senior broadcast journalist at BBC Three Counties Radio, managing, producing and presenting radio programmes for the Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire areas.
Award-winning screenwriter Tony Jordon was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts in recognition of his outstanding services to creative writing. He has written over 200 episodes of EastEnders and has been responsible for some of the soap’s best known characters and hard-hitting storylines.
Tony has gone on to write some of the most popular TV dramas of recent years, including: Hustle, Holby Blue, The Passing Bells, The Nativity and the International Emmy Award winning show for Best Drama Series, Life on Mars.
Graduating student and incoming Beds SU Vice President for Equality Jamie Nelson, reminded students to thank their families and friends for their support during their studies, saying: “Revel in your well-earned success but please remember to thank those who have helped you achieve such heights. We each owe a debt of gratitude to these individuals be that those here today or those who are here with us in spirit, I think I speak for all of us when I say we share our success with you.”
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