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Lizzy Yarnold to receive honorary degree from the University of Kent alongside actor Timothy West

Britain's greatest Winter Olympian will receive an honorary degree from the University of Kent today in recognition of her sporting career.

Lizzy Yarnold, who was born in Sevenoaks, announced her retirement last month after becoming the first British athlete to retain her Winter Olympic title when she won gold in the skeleton in Pyeongchang this year.

The former head girl of Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, who picked up her OBE in October, will be given a doctor of science degree at Rochester Cathedral to honour her success, having cemented her place in sporting history after winning every major title in her sport of skeleton in just 407 days by 2015.

She will collect her latest honour alongside celebrated film, stage and TV actor Timothy West, who will be given a doctor of arts degree.

Most recently known for roles in Coronation Street and EastEnders, West was the President of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art for 31 years until January, when he was succeeded by Benedict Cumberbatch.

He is still the President of the Society for Theatre Research.

Lizzy Yarnold with her two Winter Olympic gold medals
Lizzy Yarnold with her two Winter Olympic gold medals

Married to Fawlty Towers actress Prunella Scales, they were both supporters of an appeal campaign that raised £4.2m in donations to help reconstruct the new Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury in 2011. His son Samuel West has since performed there.

Timothy West
Timothy West

On Friday, former University of Kent vice-chancellor and president Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow will receive her honorary doctor of civil law degree, in recognition of her exceptional contribution to science, public life and the University of Kent, at a ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral.


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