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TV’s Debra Stephenson Hosts University Awards

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Article by Lisa Burns and Neil Harrison

Debra Stephenson and Vice-Chancellor John Brooks present the
Outstanding Contribution Award to Rebecca Lawthom.
TV STAR DEBRA STEPHENSON HAS MADE a very welcome return appearance at her alma mater, to present the inaugural Manchester Metropolitan University Staff Awards.

The Bad Girls and Coronation Street actress and star of The Impressions Show treated the crowd, gathered in MMU’s Oxford Road Business School, to a masterclass in comedy and impersonation. She ‘introduced’ a host of well-known names, including: Miranda Hart, Julie Walters, Anne Robinson and her hilarious trademark Davina McCall, before the serious business of announcing the winners began.

Debra, co-hosting the event with MMU Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Brooks, said ahead of the awards:

“I have a lot of history with this place and a lot of fond memories of Manchester Metropolitan University. I always say to young, aspiring actors who ask me what to do: “Head up to Manchester! It’s the best place to be!”

Audience gathers to enjoy the TV star’s impressions.

The successful evening, which sought to recognise staff’s contributions to the university’s values, included the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution, won by Rebecca Lawthom, plus many other categories, including Outstanding Teacher and Rising Star.

Upon picking up the Service Excellence award, Paul Walsh said, “It’s amazing to have won, I’m so pleased that somebody took the opportunity to nominate me, it’s lovely to be recognised for it. I’m really pleased.”

Similarly pleased was fellow winner, Edward Wastnidge, who received the Exceptional Contribution to the Student Experience award, saying, “It feels wonderful, it’s a real honour. This is very much a reward for the rest of my colleagues as well, who do the same job as me in the rest of the Humanities, Language and Social Science faculty. It’s Great!”

To round off proceedings, vice-chancellor Brooks thanked Debra Stephenson and praised each of the winners and nominees, hailing the event – the first of its kind – as hugely successful, before inviting those in attendance to a post-ceremony cocktail party at MMU’s newly opened School of Art building.   

For more information on the MMU Staff Awards and for full details of the winners please visit: http://www.mmu.ac.uk/staff/awards/


Lisa Burns studies History and English at MMU. When she’s not got her nose in a book, she loves having adventures in the great outdoors! Follow her on Twitter: @LittleRobin09

Neil Harrison is studying Social History at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is an aspiring journalist and a terrible guitar player. Read his blog LooseRiver and follow him on Twitter @LooseRiver

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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