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2014

Ricky Ross to receive Honorary degree from Abertay University

8 July 2014

Deacon Blue singer and songwriter Ricky Ross will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Abertay University this Thursday (10 July).

He was nominated by Abertay University lecturer Mhairi Thurston, who grew up with Ricky and sang together in a band as teenagers.

Honorary Doctorates are also being awarded to Balhousie Care Group founder Tony Banks and Lord Hope of Craighead, the first Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

Around 1,000 students will have their degrees conferred across two ceremonies on Thursday, with their achievements celebrated by 3,000 friends and members of their families.

Mhairi Thurston said:

"Ricky and I grew up in the same youth group in Dundee. We've been friends ever since. Because we were so into music, we decided to form a band together.

"I was 13, and was the vocalist. Ricky was 16 and was the keyboard player. My brother was the guitarist and my cousin was the drummer. We used to rehearse in my garage with mattresses against the walls. Ricky wrote some amazing songs even then.

“We both ended up in Glasgow in the 80s and our paths crossed again when I was a backing vocalist in a band with his wife Lorraine.

"I’m really, really proud of all Ricky's achievements. He certainly deserves this honour - he’s always been immensely talented, not just in music, but in all the arts."

Deacon Blue are preparing to release their seventh studio album, A New House, in September 2014.

Ricky has also released five solo records as well as The Great Lakes recorded with his wife, Lorraine McIntosh, under the name McIntosh Ross.

He has written songs with and for a wide number of artists including James Blunt, Will Young, Nanci Griffith and Jamie Cullum.

Ricky presents Another Country and Sunday Morning With for BBC Radio Scotland as well as hosting occasional programmes for BBC Radio 2.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact Chris Wilson (Communications Manager) - M: 07837 250284 E: chris.wilson@abertay.ac.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Tony Banks

Tony Banks is the founder and head of Balhousie Care Group, Scotland’s largest independently-owned care home provider comprising 27 care homes and employing more than 1,000 staff. He built his successful business himself after buying his first care home, Balhousie Lisden in Kirriemuir, Angus, in 1991.

He served in the Parachute Regiment in the Falklands conflict, including at the Battle of Goose Green where he witnessed one of his closest friends being killed. Today, Banks is Honorary Colonel of the Territorial Army’s 71 Engineer Regiment (Volunteers).

Lord Hope of Craighead

Lord Hope of Craighead (David Hope) has a distinguished legal career. After graduating LLB from the University of Edinburgh in 1965 he practised at the Scottish Bar for 24 years as a member of the Faculty of Advocates. During that time he was Standing Junior Counsel in Scotland to the Board of Inland Revenue from 1974 to 1978, became a Queen’s Counsel in 1978, and was an Advocate Depute (prosecuting for the Crown in the High Court of Justiciary) from 1978 to 1982.

From 1986 to 1989 he was Dean of the Faculty of Advocates (Chairman of the Scottish Bar). In 1989 he was appointed direct from the bar to the bench as Lord Justice General of Scotland and Lord President of the Court of Session. He held these offices for seven years until 1996, when he was appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.

In 2009 he was appointed to be the second senior Lord of Appeal. Later that year the appellate jurisdiction of the House of Lords was transferred to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and he became its first Deputy President. He retired from that office in 2013 and is now active as a cross-bencher in the House of Lords.

Ricky Ross

Ricky Ross is lead singer and songwriter for Deacon Blue. The band have made six studio albums and are about to release their seventh, A New House, in September 2014. He has also released five solo records as well as The Great Lakes recorded with his wife, Lorraine McIntosh, under the name McIntosh Ross.

He has written songs with and for a wide number of artists including James Blunt, Will Young, Nanci Griffith and Jamie Cullum.

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