Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker receives honorary doctorate

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The Independent Online

Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker joked today he would not open a medical surgery, even with his newly acquired title of Doctor.

Cocker was back in his home city of Sheffield to receive an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University, where he studied when it was known as a polytechnic.

He told the assembled graduates at City Hall, who were also there to collect certificates, that he was honoured to receive the award.

He said: "I'm called a doctor now. Don't worry, I won't open a surgery.

"But I guess if you are a songwriter maybe I could have some kind of musical surgery.

"If you had a song with a swollen chorus, or a varicose verse, or if you need a little bit of help I could try and heal your song for you."

Cocker had his big break with Pulp at Sheffield Polytechnic in 1981 when they handed over a demo tape to radio legend John Peel, and he invited them to record a session for BBC Radio One.

Cocker did an access course at the Poly before wining a place at Central St Martin's College of Art and Design in London.

After years in the music industry, Pulp were eventually nominated for a Mercury Music prize in 1994.

The following year the single Common People reached number two in the charts.

In the last decade Cocker has launched a successful solo career and also moved into film-making and art.

He told City Hall that he had done most of his learning outside formal classrooms.

"I guess a lot of my learning has been done outside academic institutions," he said.

"Sometimes people call it the university of life.

"The only trouble with the university of life is the graduation when you've checked out, so it's nice to actually have a graduation whilst I'm still here to enjoy it.

"It's a great honour to be given this, especially in my home town."