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Media centre home > News > Louis Theroux receives honorary doctorate

Issued:16/11/18

Documentary and film maker Louis Theroux has received an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.

Theroux has achieved cult-hero status in the UK, with programmes covering topics as diverse as drug addiction, wrestling, racism and Scientology.

His documentaries follow his attempts to get to know the people at the heart of some of the world's - and especially America's - most controversial and fascinating lifestyles.

Before the ceremony at Sheffield's City Hall, Louis said: "I feel very honoured to be receiving an honorary doctorate; it's not something I ever expected but it is very nice. I've been doing TV for 25 years so for Sheffield Hallam to recognise that makes me feel very grateful."

On advice he would give to graduating students, Louis added: "I would encourage them to be open, to explore the world with an open heart - we have a commonality in humanity and even in the unlikeliest places you will find a connection; that's what informs my work but I think it's not a bad life lesson for anyone."

Theroux rose to prominence during his BBC series Weird Weekends, where he followed marginal, mostly American, subcultures such as survivalists, black nationalists, white supremacists and porn stars, often by living among or close to the people involved.

Since then, Theroux has made further compelling documentaries including When Louis Met.., a series of BBC Two specials, Drinking to Oblivion, Dark States and My Scientology Movie. His latest series, Altered States, is on BBC Two on Sundays.

Louis Theroux

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Theroux has won numerous awards including two BAFTAs and a Royal Television Society Award for his shows. 

Theroux received his honorary doctorate alongside students graduating from the University's Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts, as part of the University's graduation fortnight and he is amongst other 2018 honorary doctorates including artist Pete McKee and fellow broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson.

For press information: Tim Ward in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 5220 or email tim.ward@shu.ac.uk