Deacon Blue drummer and broadcaster Dougie Vipond ‘humbled’ by university honour

Deacon Blue drummer Dougie Vipond has said he is “flattered and humbled” after being awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Stirling.

Vipond, 57, was recognised for his outstanding contribution to music, broadcasting and the community at the spring graduation ceremony on Friday.

He said he was moved to tears when he learned he was to be recognised by the university, which is close to his home in Bridge of Allan.

Deacon Blue topped the charts between 1987 and 1994 when the band split, and Vipond, aged 27 at the time, then channelled his enthusiasm for sport into a successful broadcasting career, before the band reformed in 1999.

He said: “I am flattered and humbled by this award. I shed a few tears when I opened the letter and discovered I was to be given an honorary doctorate.

“The University of Stirling is an extraordinary centre of excellence and for them to think I’m worthy of this is unbelievable. I would like to thank the university for this recognition.”

Originally from Renfrewshire, Vipond began performing with Deacon Blue while studying classical music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Dougie Vipond
Dougie Vipond said he was ‘humbled’ to have been honoured by the university (Elaine Livingstone Photography/PA)

He went on to front the extreme sports series The Adventure Show for the BBC, and was an anchor for Reporting Scotland and BBC Scotland’s flagship football programme Sportscene, and has also been a co-host on ITV’s This Morning.

Professor Sir Gerry McCormac, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Stirling, said: “Dougie Vipond’s achievements in music and broadcasting are inspiring.

“His success with Deacon Blue and as a versatile broadcaster makes him a fantastic role model for our students.

“Everyone at the university enjoyed celebrating with Dougie, our latest cohort of graduands, and their families and friends.”

In 2022, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society presented Vipond with an honorary fellowship in recognition of his television presenting work, and his accolades include being the first Scottish presenter of rugby for Premier Sports and Viaplay.

Vipond currently presents BBC farming and countryside programme Landward, but also tours with Deacon Blue – often taking a University of Stirling Sport water bottle with him.

He has raised funds for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, joining a cycle from Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff in 2022.

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