Lorraine Kelly insists her honorary degrees were ‘cheating’

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Lorraine Kelly, 63, claimed she bitterly “disappointed” her parents by not going to university and choosing to go directly into her vocation instead. Claiming that the honorary degrees awarded to her by Dundee and Edinburgh Universities were “cheating”, she expressed a desire to go to Open University in the future to earn the credentials.

Describing the choice not to pursue a degree as her “first failure” on the How To Fail With Elizabeth Day podcast, she admitted: “I was supposed to go to do Russian and English and I would have loved to have gone, but I really wanted to be a journalist.”

“My mum and dad were disappointed – they never said anything at the time but in a working class home like my mum and dad’s, particularly in Scotland, you want on the mantlepiece the picture of your kid with a scroll and a funny hat!” she added.

Another family member did go to university, however, which took some of the pressure away from her.

“Thank goodness, my incredibly talented baby brother went to university and he got the picture [instead]!” she joked.

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Passing up the opportunity for a ceremonial graduation photo, she was convinced that a job at the local paper was a better fit for her than a long course of study.

“I’m – some might say curious, some might say nosy – I’m just interested in everything,” she explained.

“That’s why I love my job so much because every day I learn something new!”

Lorraine was able to benefit from a university-style social life via the people her friends introduced her to, as she was the only person in her social circle who’d opted out of college.

However, she admits she still feels regret at not taking up the opportunity to study herself.

“I got an honorary degree from Dundee and Edinburgh University – so I’ve got two degrees but not really.

“I mean, that’s really cheating, isn’t it? That’s just soooo cheating,”(sic) she groaned.

“There’s still part of me that feels I should have done that degree and that one day, I would go to Open Uni and actually do it.”

Lorraine’s mum Anne is doing exactly that herself, having enrolled at the University of The Third Age, catering to “retired or semi-retired” people who still have the hunger to learn.

The 81-year-old is learning German, which a proud Lorraine said was great for “stimulating the mind”.

She is considering following in her footsteps in the future, and with 18 years to go before she reaches her mum’s current age, could have plenty of time to carry out her plans.

Meanwhile, Lorraine even considered applying for a job in South Georgia, off the coast of Antarctica, more recently but was declined.

“I’m not qualified to do anything because I can’t cook. I can’t even be the cook – can’t do nothing!” she joked self-deprecatingly.

“The nation breathes a sigh of relief,” podcast host Elizabeth Day chuckled, urging Lorraine that her viewers need her.

She very nearly missed out on breaking into television, after the bosses of BBC Scotland back in the day had told her she’d “never make it”.

Lorraine says she was advised that her accent was “offensive” and that she would need to take elocution lessons to be understood.

Fortunately, she proved the naysayers wrong and went on to be a hugely successful TV host, although “no-one spoke like me then”.

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