Broadcasting star is honoured

15th November 2013

Broadcaster and star of BBC TV's Countryfile, Julia Bradbury, has been recognised by Sheffield Hallam University today for her work in promoting the appreciation and preservation of the natural landscape.

Julia, who has also presented Watchdog, Planet Earth Live, Kill It Cook It Eat It and Wainwright's Walks, received an honorary doctorate in front of hundreds of architecture and planning students at their graduation ceremony at Sheffield City Hall this morning. "It feels quite fantastical to be here," said Julia. "I can't believe it's happened. It's a tremendous privilege and I am in awe of everybody else that is here today. All of the graduates have done such an amazing job. I'm not naturally an academic person and I am very inspired by those that are and so it is a tremendous honour to be sharing this room with them." Educated at Sheffield's King Edward VII School, Julia has become the national face for championing the preservation of the British countryside and, thanks to her passion for the great outdoors, is president of the Friends of the Peak District, the South Yorkshire branch of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE) and, more recently Julia became the first female President of the Camping and Caravanning Club the first woman in the role in the club's 111 year history. Julia added: "I have fantastic memories of Sheffield and my family has strong bonds with the city having spent a lot of time here and invested a lot of family commitment. Sheffield means a great deal to me and it's fantastic to be back here, especially in these circumstances. I'm chuffed to bits!" Her flagship show, Countryfile is now regularly the most watched program on any channel and recently pulled in a peak time audience of 9.1 million viewers. HRH the Prince of Wales, guest-edited the 25th-anniversary programme, for which Julia interviewed him about his passion for the countryside, and took on some hedge-laying with him. After becoming the launch face of L!VETV the cable station run by Janet Street Porter, Julia was quickly successful, and made the transition from cable to terrestrial television as GMTV's Los Angeles correspondent in 1996. The following year she hosted the launch of Channel 5, before embarking on a decade of travel journalism presenting Wish You Were Here for ITV and The Rough Guide for Channel 5. She regularly undertakes a large amount of charity work, particularly for the Scouts, Bowel Cancer UK, Prostate Cancer and Sparks. In addition she is one of the Patrons of Sheffield's St Lukes Hospice. Professor Judy Simons of Sheffield Hallam University nominated Julia for the doctorate. She said: "Julia Bradbury is a perfect candidate for an award. She's a local girl who has achieved celebrity status and her work reflects many of my own and the University's values. "I'm a life member of CPRE and Julia is a wonderful champion of the beauty, the heritage and the pleasures of the countryside."

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