‘Boabby the barman’ Gavin is shaken and stirred by degree honour

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Laconic licensed trade icon “Boabby the Barman” - actor Gavin Mitchell - has been awarded an honorary degree for a raft of little-publicised off-screen achievements.

The erstwhile butt of many a savage put-down by Jack and Victor in hit TV comedy Still Game has been a star of stage, screen and the arts for 30 years, but has also campaigned to raise awareness of mental health issues.

His honorary Doctor of Letters degree recognises his outstanding contribution to the television and media industry, and his support of new talent through GCU’s MA TV Fiction Writing course.

Gavin, whose support of various charitable causes also won recognition, began his acceptance speech with Boabby’s catchphrase “Look who it isnae” before thanking his late father for introducing him to self education, libraries, and the Citizens Theatre - where he started his acting career.

He told students at Glasgow Caledonian University’s graduation ceremony: “I am shocked, honoured, amazed, delighted, stunned, overwhelmed and indeed humbled to receive this award.

“It is a lovely surprise. This truly does mean a lot to me.”

Dr Ben McConville, head of Media and Journalism at GCU, said: “Gavin is part of the GCU family and we are proud of his association with us.

“His commitment to the University is total and infectious. The help he has provided to our students has been utterly invaluable.

“Gavin’s support for mental health charities is particularly close to his heart. He is passionate about helping others, considering it his moral obligation to do so.”

Also honoured was Muzoon Almellehan, named as one of the BBC’s 100 Influential and Inspirational Women.

She began working with Unicef while living in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp, where she campaigned for the rights of children, particularly girls, to an education, becoming the organisation’s youngest Goodwill Ambassador.

Receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws, she said: “This honorary degree for a young activist like me shows the unwavering efforts that the University is doing in order to give a platform for young people.

“I am receiving this on behalf of millions of children and those are voiceless people who cannot represent themselves.

“This award means so much to me and It is a strong motivation as well as a unique encouragement to continue and advocate for children’s rights worldwide.”