Noel Clarke Receives Honorary Doctorate from University of East London (Video)
Multiple award-winning actor, director and screenwriter Noel Clarke, was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Arts at the University of East London’s graduation ceremony in London’s O2.
Born in west London in 1975, Noel grew up with a burning ambition to write and act, which led him to leave the University of North London before he had graduated, but his talent has brought him back to academia to collect an honorary award.
His first acting opportunity came in 2001 when renowned West Indian director and screenwriter Rikki Beadle-Blair offered him an audition for the Channel 4 TV drama Metrosexuality. This opened up further acting roles in short films, but they were few and far between so Noel focused on his writing. He eventually won a role in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, based on the 80s TV series.
Once filming was complete, he turned his talent to the stage where he won the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer after his performance in Where Do We Live at the Royal Court Theatre.
At the time, Noel was also writing the acclaimed film Kidulthood about the lives of teenagers growing up in west London but he took on further TV work before the screenplay was released. In 2005 he became the infamous Mickey Smith in Doctor Who. Three years later, his second film, Adulthood, was released.
Speaking at yesterday’s graduation ceremony, for the university’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Noel said: “This is an amazing feeling; it’s such a great honour to receive this award. I love doing what I do and to get an honour for that seems strange, but I’m also very thankful. My advice to students, young people and anyone else who has a dream is to follow your instincts and to always give one hundred per cent in whatever you do.”
Noel received a BAFTA award in the Orange Rising Star category in 2009. A father of two, he continues to write and act while supporting film and media students.