Strictly star and journalist John Sergeant honoured

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Former political journalist and Strictly Come Dancing star John Sergeant has accepted an honorary doctorate from Teesside University.

Mr Sergeant, who studied journalism in Darlington, was awarded an honorary doctorate of letter on Friday.

Author Philippa Gregory, businessman Steve Cochrane, concept artist Dan Walker and refugee advisor Pete Widlinski also received honours.

Mr Sergeant said he was "extremely happy" to receive the doctorate.

He said: "This is a great honour, I'm extremely happy. I think it's wonderful.

"I started my journalism career on a two-month course at Darlington College in 1967, the first journalism training course of its type at the time. I owe a lot of my success to that."

The honours were given at a special ceremony at Darlington Town Hall by Teesside University chancellor, Lord Sawyer of Darlington.

He told the audience: "What I experience here at Teesside is a community of people working together, supporting and helping each other."

Mr Sergeant, a former BBC and ITN political reporter, was criticised by the Strictly Come Dancing judges for his clumsy footwork during the 2008 series, but was kept in the show by viewers' votes.

He eventually decided to leave of his own accord and has now forged a new career as a TV presenter.

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