The showrunner of Doctor Who and the cast and crew involved in the opening episode of series 11 which was filmed and premiered in Sheffield have accepted honorary doctorates from Sheffield Hallam University.

Chris Chibnall was showrunner and executive producer on the series which saw the first female Doctor arrive on our screens in 2018.

The opening episode, The Woman Who Fell to Earth, was filmed at various locations across the city including Park Hill flats.

Chris, who has also written and produced several other hit shows including Broadchurch, Torchwood, Born & Bred and Life on Mars, has been awarded the honour of Doctor of Arts alongside cast and crew members of the series.

He said: “The cast and crew of Doctor Who Series 11 are thrilled to be honoured by Sheffield Hallam University this way. From the moment we made the decision for the Doctor to fall out of the sky into the streets and homes of Sheffield in 2018, the residents and the city have treated us brilliantly, on screen and off. Doctor Who is a massive team effort so it’s particularly special that this citation is for the whole cast and crew. “


Another broadcasting heavyweight, Matthew Bannister, the Sheffield-born former controller of Radio 1, will also receive an honorary doctorate during graduation ceremonies next month.

He currently presents Radio 4’s obituary programme Last Word and his own podcast Folk on Foot. He has also presented programmes on the BBC World Service, Radio 5Live, Radio 2 and Local Radio.

Matthew said: “I am delighted to be awarded such a prestigious degree by Sheffield Hallam University. I am proud of my Sheffield roots and well aware of the University’s excellent reputation. I look forward to building a relationship with students and staff in the future.”

Honorary doctorates are also being awarded to several other outstanding members of the media and arts community.

Olivier award winning playwright and screenwriter who grew up in Sheffield, Laura Wade is also among this year’s recipients.

Her play Home, I’m Darling premiered at Theatre Clwyd and the National Theatre in 2018 before transferring to the West End where it received rave reviews and was named Best New Comedy at the 2019 Olivier Awards. She is currently developing a feature film with support from the BFI Film Fund.

Daniel Gordon is a BAFTA winning and Emmy nominated British documentary film director who has scored critical acclaim with work on Victoria Pendleton, Hillsborough, George Best and other sporting heroes including the North Korean football team. He founder VeryMuchSo Productions in Kelham Island, Sheffield in 2001 his home city.

Kim Streets, Chief Operating Officer of Museums Sheffield with responsibility for the museums service in Sheffield will also receive the honour.

Other recipients include:

  • Dr Ann Limb – Educationalist, philanthropist and civil servant. She became the first woman Chair of the Scouting Association since the movement was founded.
  • Ken Dunn – Founder of Africa’s Gift, a South Yorkshire based charity which supports rural communities in southern Africa, working to effect positive change.
  • Sir Paul Collier – Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford and is formerly senior advisor to Tony Blair’s Commission on Africa and formerly Director of Development Research at the World Bank.
  • Robert Macfarlane – Naturalist and international bestselling writer on landscape, nature and place.
  • Baroness Shriti Vadera – Chairman of Santander UK.  She was minister for BIS and the Cabinet Office until 2009 and has been the Chair of Santander UK since 2015, the first woman to head a major British bank.
  • Sheffield Forgemasters International – Group award to management and staff of Forgemasters, Sheffield’s longest running steel making business.
  • Carrie Yau – International Education Leader. Executive Director of the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council (VTC) since 2013 with responsibilities for promoting professional and vocational training across the administrative region.

The honorary doctorates will be awarded during student graduation ceremonies being held during November at the City Hall.