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Edge Hill awards honorary doctorate to Lynda La Plante


July 25, 2022

Internationally-acclaimed author and screenwriter Lynda La Plante CBE has been awarded an honorary doctorate for her commitment to the Arts from Edge Hill University.

Lynda La Plante in her cap and gown
Lynda La Plante CBE

Internationally-acclaimed author and screenwriter Lynda La Plante CBE has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Edge Hill University for her commitment to the arts.

Lynda was born in Liverpool and is best known for creating the Prime Suspect TV crime series: “I’m very honoured and grateful to be the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Edge Hill University.  Studying English and Creative Writing gives such a strong foundation of knowledge to any student wanting to pursue a career in any aspect of the arts.” 

Following a tour of campus, Lynda commented: “This University is a hidden gem and it shouldn’t be, the facilities are absolutely fabulous, why would you go anywhere else.”

Lynda, who doesn’t believe in the formality of writing speeches, did not disappoint with hers. Her words of advice for those graduating today: “My encouragement is to always turn the light on, but you have to do it yourself. Don’t rely on parents, you all have the light inside of you, you have to work for it.”

Lynda La Plante meeting with creative writing staff and students

During her visit, Lynda was given a tour of our TV studios by Matthew Pateman, Head of Creative Arts, and senior lecturer Neill Cockwill. Lynda then joined current creative writing students for an inspiring Q&A session, giving the advice to “be professional, be precise and do your research.”

Ben Broadhurst, Students’ Union Education President, asked Lynda where the inspiration for Prime Suspect 1973 came from, which goes back to the early days of lead character Jane Tennison. Lynda commented: “It was at a book signing. A fan asked me what Tennison was like when she was young, and I didn’t have the answer.”

Ben commented: “It was a privilege and honour to meet Lynda. I’ve been a huge fan of her work since I was a teenager, particularly Prime Suspect and her Tennison series. Lynda is a warm, heartfelt and genuine person, and I felt so lucky to be able to meet my hero.”

Lynda is an excellent role model for Edge Hill students and joins a community of respected authors and scriptwriters awarded honorary doctorates from Edge Hill University, including Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Heidi Thomas and Chris Chibnall. 

The University has a strong community of authors as part of a Narrative Research Group. The group members are responsible for shortlisting on the Edge Hill Prize, the only annual award for a published, single-authored collection of short stories in the UK and Ireland. Our alumni community nurture the talent of creative writing students with regular masterclasses, workshops and skill-sharing sessions. 

Lynda already has a very impressive trophy cabinet at home, having received accolades including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Mini Series, a BAFTA for television writing and a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to literature, drama and to charity. 

She has more than 40 published best-sellers to her name and supports a number of charities; the Prince’s Trust, which helps disadvantaged young people, and Quick Reads, which commissions well-known authors to write books designed for adults who are less confident in their reading skills.

If you haven’t read any of her novels then it’s likely that you’ve seen one of her hit television productions. Lynda fast became a household name, and set up her own production company, La Plante Productions, in 1993, writing for and producing high-rating series The GovernorSupply & Demand and Trial and Retribution for ITV, and Killer Net for Channel 4, as well as productions for NBC, CBS, ABC and TNT. 

July 25, 2022


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