'Line Of Duty' star Tommy Jessop awarded honorary doctorate

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 30/03/2021 - Programme Name: Line of Duty S6 - TX: n/a - Episode: Line Of Duty - Ep 3 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Terry Boyle (TOMMY JESSOP), Supporting Artist, Ryan Pilkington (GREGORY PIPER) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Steffan Hill
Tommy Jessop and Gregory Piper as Terry Boyle and Ryan Pilkington in 'Line Of Duty' (BBC)

Line Of Duty actor Tommy Jessop has been awarded an honorary doctorate from University of Winchester.

The actor, who is best known for playing Terry Boyle on the BBC drama, was celebrated at a ceremony today alongside Alan Titchmarsh.

Sharing photos of the day, Jessop wrote on Twitter: “Well it so appears that I might have just received an Honorary Doctorate from [University of Winchester] and from Alan Titchmarsh which is truly a great and proud honour of my life last night apparently. Hence that is why I might have been polishing up my speech.”

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The actor was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Arts by the university, alongside Strictly Come Dancing star, Craig Revel Horwood.

Jessop is a local of Winchester, and became the first actor with Down’s Syndrome to ever have a key role in a prime time BBC drama.

He first came to screens in 2007 in a starring role opposite Nicholas Hoult in BBC drama Coming Down The Mountain.

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The 36-year-old has since been a trailblazer in his acting career, being a founding member of Blue Apple Theatre alongside his mother Jane.

Blue Apple Theatre is a troupe dedicated to showcasing actors with learning disabilities and is based in Winchester but tours across the UK.

(L-R) Actor Tommy Jessop and Producer-Director Will Jessop attend the 43rd International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York, NY, on November 23, 2015. (Photo by Anthony Behar) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***
Tommy Jessop and brother Will Jessop at the 2015 International Emmy Awards (PA)

Alongside his brother, Will Jessop, he has also been the central focus in documentary Growing Up Down’s, which followed his work with Blue Apple Theatre.

The film earned the pair an Emmy nomination for Best International Documentary.

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He was also the first professional actor with Down’s Syndrome to ever play the title role in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Jessop joined the cast of Line Of Duty in 2019.

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