Sir Peter Bazalgette attends Thursday's Sunderland University Summer 2016 Graduation ceremony at the Stadium of Light Picture: DAVID WOOD

Sir Peter Bazalgette attends Thursday’s Sunderland University Summer 2016 Graduation ceremony at the Stadium of Light Picture: DAVID WOOD

THE man at the helm of Arts Council England and Chairman of ITV has received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Sunderland.

Sir Peter Bazalgette, who popularised Big Brother, created Deal or No Deal, Ready Steady Cook, Changing Rooms and Ground Force, and was once named “the most influential figure in British television” received his award at the Stadium of Light this week, during the University’s Summer Graduation ceremonies.

Sir Peter, who is a Fellow of Bafta and the Royal Television Society, commented: “I’m dead chuffed to get this award from a University that is such a great supporter of creative industries and partner of the Arts Council.”

Sir Peter has raised funds for arts and media organisations, notably as Chair of the Crossness Engines Trust (a steam museum) and as Deputy Chair of the National Film and Television School, and is the former Chair of English National Opera.

Another recipient of the Doctorate of Arts this week is inventor Dominic Wilcox, a Sunderland Art & Design graduate, who receives his award tomorrow (Friday, July 8).

Dominic works between the worlds of art, design, craft and technology to create innovative and thought provoking objects, with commissions by a diverse range of organisations including Paul Smith, Selfridges, The V&A museum, BMW Mini and Jaffa Cakes.

In 2009 he started an award nominated blog called Variations on Normal to showcase his sketchbook inventions and observations and his recent projects include the design of a pair of shoes with inbuilt GPS to guide the wearer home and a stained glass driverless car of the future.

Almost 3,000 graduates are receiving awards from University Chancellor Steve Cram CBE, during a week of ceremonies at the Stadium of Light (July 4-8), close to 12,000 people are expected to attend the Graduation Ceremonies, including proud families and friends.