Actress Gaynor Faye receives Bradford College honorary fellowship

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Gaynor Faye collecting her – and her mum’s – honorary fellowships Gaynor Faye collecting her – and her mum’s – honorary fellowships

A TV actress who was today awarded an honorary fellowship for Bradford College, has described the city as her “second home.”

Gaynor Faye was given the title at a ceremony in the Great Victoria Hotel, and told graduates of the college that whatever they faced in the future, hard work would always pay off.

Also receiving awards yesterday were Meghna Ghai Puri, president of Asian film institute Whistling Woods International and Rich Jones, the founder of charity The Joshua Project.

Leeds-born Mrs Faye, current star of Emmerdale and a former resident of Coronation Street, also accepted a fellowship on behalf of her mother, actress and scriptwriter Kay Mellor OBE who was unable to attend due to filming commitments.

Mrs Faye, also a former Dancing on Ice champion, said: “It is very humbling for me. I didn’t have the best time at school, I was bullied and wanted to get out of the school system as quickly as possible.

“Getting a fellowship gives me a wonderful feeling of achievement.

“Bradford is a second home to me - I’ve performed at the Alhambra, I trained for Dancing on Ice at the ice rink and went to the photography museum all the time as a child.”

Her first brush with acting success was through her theatre group Not Quite Hollywood, which performed for the first time in Bradford playhouse.

“It is such a cosmopolitan city, my mum chose to film the second series of The Syndicate here because it is so vibrant and incredibly diverse.”

During her speech to graduates she told them that she was always told she would have to move to London to succeed as an actress.

She added: “My main nugget of wisdom is work hard and don’t give up - persistence pays off.

“The graduates have a big world ahead of them, and at the moment it is difficult to be a graduate. They just need to work hard and believe in themselves.”

Mr Jones founded community charity The Joshua Project in 2007 aged just 23. He lives in Bradford and has dedicated his life to working to improve the lives of the city’s young people.

He has also created a close link with Bradford College. He said: “It is a great honour. I have lived in Bradford for 10 years and I just love the place so this fellowship is like an official adoption for me.”

Mrs Ghai Puri, who had flown in from Mumbai the day before, is president of Whistling Woods International - an Asian based television, media and animation institute that opened its doors to students from Bradford in September. After receiving her fellowship she said: “I’m very grateful to Bradford College for this. I’ve built a very close bond with the city and think it is really coming up as a capital of film. It is becoming my second home.”

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