BBC Points West report on Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ honorary degree
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BBC Points West report on Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ honorary degree

October 7, 2019

The Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has
collected an honorary degree from the University of Bristol. The 74-year-old who lives in Somerset was made a Doctor of Laws in a ceremony at
the Wills Memorial Building this morning. Andy Howard was there to see it.
The moment Sir Ranulph became Doctor Fiennes in front of more than 600
university graduates. Because it’s Bristol, you know, and living on Exmoor, I’m extremely proud of it, I am however aware that I never got sort of O-levels or
A-levels and so it seems sort of slightly hypocritical to you know have
that sort of thing. Once called the world’s greatest living explorer, Sir
Ranulph has crossed both poles, climbed the world’s tallest mountains, discovered
a lost city, got frostbite and even removed his own fingers. But his
acceptance speech started with the words ‘let me tell you why I don’t deserve this’
and a story about trying to blow up a concrete dam near Castle Combe in the
1960s. I ended up in Chippenham Prison. I was on police probation in
Salisbury for six months. I was thrown out of the SAS back to my own regiment,
and I feel to get doctorate of the law, I feel just wonderful. So thank you very much indeed. I’m sure Dr Fiennes will remember today
for many reasons, none more so the meeting up with the Bristol surgeon who
operated on him after a heart attack whilst boarding a flight 15 years ago. He’d never before heard the full story. I think what did really save you was
festival the fact than the plane hadn’t taken off and second the fact the
fire brigade had a defibrillator. Without a defibrillator you would have been that
dead. Complete, of course, with hearts diagrams on the back of the graduation
running order. He’s quite a remarkable chap and as you say he may not have many A-levels but intelligence comes in different forms I’m afraid and
sometimes I’m not a great believer in degrees and things like that or pieces of
paper I think. We won’t say that sort of thing today. Not today. Your secret’s safe with us. Andy Howard, BBC Points West in Bristol.

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