Deacon Blue drummer and broadcaster Dougie Vipond to receive honorary degree

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Dougie Vipond
Dougie Vipond

Deacon Blue drummer and celebrated broadcaster Dougie Vipond is to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stirling.

Dougie will receive the award at Stirling’s spring graduation ceremony, which takes place on Friday, March 22. He is being recognised for his outstanding contribution to music, broadcasting, and community. 

Dougie is one of the founders of the internationally successful Scottish pop rock band, Deacon Blue. A student of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Dougie was playing drums with the band while studying classical music at the world-renowned centre of excellence for the performing arts.

In 1987, Deacon Blue’s first single, Dignity, propelled them to stardom and the band has since made ten studio albums and sold more than seven million records, with their first three albums going platinum.

Myriad of roles

The band split in 1994, when Dougie was only 27, and he decided to change direction - pursuing a career as a television presenter. 

Dougie began his career in broadcasting at Scottish Television, presenting NB, the award-winning arts listings programme. He went on to front the extreme sports series The Adventure Show for the BBC, taking part in a variety of thrilling outdoor sports and competitions.

His love of sport is reflected in the myriad of roles he took on for the BBC – he was an anchor for Reporting Scotland and BBC Scotland’s flagship football programme, Sportscene; and a presenter of a plethora of other sports including rugby, curling and athletics. He was the first Scottish presenter of rugby for Premier Sports and Viaplay and even enjoyed a short stint as co-host of ITV’s This Morning.

Dougie is currently the presenter of long-running farming and countryside programme, Landward, where he can often be seen traversing the length and breadth of Scotland in his wellies, reporting on rural issues. In 2022, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society presented Dougie with an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his television presenting work.

Celebrated broadcaster

Dougie is now a well-established and celebrated broadcaster but still finds time to tour with Deacon Blue, which reformed in 1999, and support numerous charities and community groups. He has been integrally involved in fundraising for the My Name’s Doddie Foundation, participating in a cycle from Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff in 2022.

Originally from Renfrewshire, Dougie now lives in Bridge of Allan and is a strong advocate for the University and its elite athletes. He is a regular on campus and is often spotted with his University of Stirling Sport water bottle when on tour with Deacon Blue.

The honorary graduate will be celebrated alongside more than 500 University of Stirling students at a ceremony on the Stirling campus.

Role model

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 is looking forward to celebrating with Dougie, our latest cohort of graduands, and their families and friends.”

The ceremony takes place on March 22 and is the first in a series of planned graduations this year. For more information, please visit the University’s graduation webpages

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