Sunderland architect’s a jolly good (honorary) fellow

Architect George Clarke, who received his degree.
Architect George Clarke, who received his degree.
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ONE of the most recognisable property presenters on TV has collected a Honorary Fellowship from the University of Sunderland for his contribution to architecture.

George Clarke, the Sunderland-born presenter and architect, was recognised for his work in making architectural practice more accessible to the public.

The writer and lecturer was born in Pallion and was raised in Washington. From the age of 12, he says he knew he wanted to be an architect.

He went on to study architecture at Newcastle University and University College London before starting his own practice.

His wife, parents and three sisters, were all present at the Stadium of Light presentation.

Speaking at yesterday’s ceremony, George said: “Today is an incredibly proud day for me.

“To be honoured in such a way by the university of my home town, while standing in the ground of the football club I’ve loved since being a young boy, means absolutely everything.”

It was his grandad Ted, a Sunderland-based builder, who also attended the ceremony, who inspired George’s love of buildings.

His TV career took off with three series of Build A New Life in the Country for Channel Five from 2004-2006.

He then moved to Channel 4 with the launch of The Home Show in 2008 and then Restoration Man in 2009.

George lists Durham Cathedral as his favourite buildings, saying the beauty of it blows him away.

Other honoraries receiving awards this week included Olympic legend Lord Coe, Wire in the Blood author Val McDermid, and online music entrepreneur Paul Campbell.

This year’s annual awards ceremonies are the biggest in the University of Sunderland’s history.

In total, 3,000 students from 89 countries will graduate at the Stadium of Light with more than 9,000 guests and 243 academic staff there to watch.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho