A warm Huddersfield welcome for Sir Patrick Stewart

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Following his sellout book tour in the US, Sir Patrick Stewart brought his memoir ‘Making it So’ to a packed audience at the University of Huddersfield.

Sir Patrick received a warm Huddersfield welcome when he visited the University, with whom he has a long-established relationship.

Patrick Stewart with audience Sir Patrick Stewart and the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, with the audience

The world-famous actor of stage and screen was the University’s Chancellor from 2004 to 2015 and continues his commitment to the University as its Emeritus Chancellor. Sir Patrick is particularly eager to ensure that young people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential through access to Higher Education.

From Yorkshire to Hollywood

His long-awaited memoir is a revealing portrait of his life, from his humble beginnings in Yorkshire to the heights of Hollywood and worldwide acclaim. The Times describes the memoir as ‘gripping reading’ and the New York Times says that it is an ‘engaging self-portrait of life on the British stage and the starship U.S.S. Enterprise’. Having recently been named as a New York Times Bestseller and a Sunday Times Bestseller in the UK, it would seem that Sir Patrick Stewart has successfully explored the new frontier of writing with such rave reviews.

Sir Patrick was welcomed with great enthusiasm when he took to the floor and joked with the audience that he was so pleased to be back on campus that he was even missing his beloved Huddersfield Town Football Club playing at home that evening, before donning a supporter’s hat he produced from his jacket pocket.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan commented: “We’re always delighted to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart to the University, and it was particularly special to be chosen as one of the venues for his UK book tour. We had an unprecedented demand for tickets, and I am sure those lucky enough to be in the audience enjoyed the evening just as much as I did.”

The evening was hosted by the Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin who asked Sir Patrick about his favourite part of the writing process and the highlights of his acting career, as well as asking him to share some of his memories of growing up in Yorkshire and his special relationship with Huddersfield. 

Patrick Stewart with the VC and Tracy Brabin Sir Patrick Stewart with the University's Vice-Chancellor Sir Bob Cryan (right) and the Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin (left)

“It was an honour to share the stage with the legendary Sir Patrick Stewart. His inspirational memoir will allow people around the world to learn more about his journey - from his Yorkshire roots to the stars. Creative young talent must be nurtured, and I’m thrilled that West Yorkshire has such an iconic role model to provide inspiration,” commented Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire.

Childhood memories

Sir Patrick shared with the audience that he found writing the book a ‘wonderful experience’ that gave him the opportunity to think back to his childhood, describing how ‘the memories came flooding back’.

During the evening the audience enjoyed a lively Q&A session and Sir Patrick shared with them his love of the cinema growing up and his fond memories of being cast in his first film ‘Hennessy’ alongside the lead actor Rod Steiger. He recalled how Rod invited him to share lunch with him on set and remembers to this day the words of advice he gave him “remember Patrick, the camera photographs thoughts.”

He went on to share his audition experience for Star Trek and the conflicting advice he received about accepting the role, fondly remembering the actress Eva Marie Saint’s advice to him to ‘take the job’ which of course he did.

Patrick Stewart visiting Heritage Quay Sir Patrick Stewart visiting the exhibition in Heritage Quay at the University of Huddersfield

During his visit Sir Patrick also called into Heritage Quay at the University and was given a tour of the exhibition ‘Sir Patrick Stewart: From Mirfield to the Stars’, which is on display until 30 October. The audience was invited to visit the exhibition after the event and eager fans queued up to explore the display.

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