Express & Star

Dexys Midnight Runners star Kevin Rowland receives honorary degree

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He is one of the Black Country's biggest exports and now Dexys Midnight Runners singer Kevin Rowland has returned to his roots to receive an honorary degree from the University of Wolverhampton.

moreThe singer spoke of his pride at receiving the accolade - but admitted he felt 'a fraud' as he left school aged 15.

The 60-year-old, who was born in Wednesfield and raised in Blakenhall, said he had thought 'long and hard' about accepting the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters.

Dexys Midnight Runners singer Kevin Rowland gives his speech

He had originally been offered an honorary degree in 2011 but was unwell and could not attend.

And he said he was grateful the university had allowed him back this time round.

A former pupil at St Mary and St John's Catholic Primary in Snow Hill, Mr Rowland moved to London before attending secondary school, and then returned to the Black Country aged 20 when he lived in Smethwick.

"I always excelled at English but I was very quiet in classes and I left when I could," he said.

The singer, who is currently touring with the reformed Dexys line-up, took to the stage during the ceremony at the city's Grand Theatre yesterday to make a speech to students.

Speaking to graduates, Rowland said: "I have worn some unusual outfits in my time but never one like this before."

He added he had a 'soft spot' for Wolverhampton.

The band had a string of well known hits in the early 1980s including Come On Eileen which reached number one in America.

See tomorrow's Express & Star for a full interview with the star.