Kenneth Branagh has been recognised for his work promoting the plays of William Shakespeare. The actor and director, together with actress Harriet Walter, received an honorary doctorate of literature from the University of Birmingham as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the university's Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.
Accepting the award, Branagh said he was "truly touched and humbled" to be recognised for his work. "Acting is largely a matter of shouting in tights," he joked. "Shakespeare was a great psychologist as well as an entertainer. The Shakespeare Institute has helped the glory of Shakespeare and exposure of his words." Miss Walter said she was "thrilled to bits."
Branagh's film and stage credits include interpretations of Shakespeare's Henry V, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and most recently Love's Labours Lost. He regularly consults the Shakespeare Institute for information and advice when working on Shakespearean projects.