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November 5, 2010 - bournemouth.ac.uk:

Alex James on Bournemouth and Cheese

Alex James expresses his love for Bournemouth and Cheese as he receives his Honorary Doctorate from Bournemouth University.

Alex James
Alex James received his

Doctor of Arts honorary degree today (Nov 5)

Alex James opened his speech at Bournemouth University’s graduation ceremony saying: “I would just like to say a few words to you about cheese.”

The musician, music producer, journalist, presenter, farmer, cheese producer and entrepreneur received his Honorary Doctorate at the Bournemouth University graduation ceremony at the Bournemouth International Centre this morning.

Alex went on to recall his fond memories of Bournemouth, where he grew up, reminiscing about Old Christchurch Road, the promenade, Charminster and Pokesdown, where he bought his first bass guitar.

He then gave some advice to the Media School graduates who were receiving their degrees at the ceremony: “Follow your heart is the thing, whenever you find anything that you love, even if people think it’s ridiculous. So when I say ‘cheese’ people laugh. But I don’t care cos I love the stuff. If you find something you love just go after it with all guns blazing. Go on you beauties. Go get ‘em!”

In an interview before the ceremony Alex said: “I’m absolutely chuffed to bits but not as chuffed as my mum who’s doing somersaults in the corner somewhere. It feels hugely flattering. It’s a great honour and what’s really nice is coming back to Bournemouth, which holds a very dear place in my heart. It’s just so nice to see the BIC thrumming and full of young people smiling. It’s rocking! It’s happening.”

He went on to express the importance of Higher Education for young people today: “Blur formed in an art college, very much the product of an arts education system. I really don’t think it matters what you do. You just have to follow your heart and do the thing you love the most. I think arts education is absolutely vital. It’s one of the things we’re absolutely brilliant at.”

Alex’s Doctor of Arts was presented by the Chancellor of Bournemouth University, the Rt Hon Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, in recognition of his achievements.

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