Napier University honour for Carlyle

THE actor Robert Carlyle was yesterday awarded an honorary doctorate marking his achievements in the film industry - and announced he was getting drunk to celebrate.

Carlyle, who is best known for playing the psychotic Begbie in Trainspotting, received the honour from Edinburgh’s Napier University at the city’s Festival Theatre.

And when he was asked if he would be doing anything to celebrate after the ceremony, he quipped: "I’ll be getting pished, actually."

The Scots star, who was accompanied by his wife Anastasia, added that he was "incredibly chuffed" to receive the award.

He said: "I’m just proud that what I’ve done over the past 20 years has been recognised.

"I’ve not studied for anything, it’s the gesture that I appreciate and it’s a very, very nice thing."

Carlyle, 41, grew up in a hippie commune in Glasgow before winning a scholarship to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

His big break came when he played a serial killer in the ITV drama Cracker, which also starred Robbie Coltrane.

Film success followed in a series of blockbusters including The Full Monty, for which he won a Bafta award for best actor, and the last Bond film, The World Is Not Enough.

His next appearance will be in Black And White, in which he plays a lawyer in Fifties Australia defending an Aborigine accused of rape.

Carlyle also talked about his role in a film about Thirties Glaswegian flyweight Benny Lynch, which starts shooting next year.

Calling the project his "labour of love", Carlyle said: "Benny Lynch was Scotland’s first world champion at anything, a wee man who came from the Gorbals and weighed 7st 10lb, became world champion and died at the age of 32."

He said: "It’s a rags to riches to rags story and my father and grandfather went to see him, so it’s something that runs in my family."

A host of other dignitaries were honoured alongside Carlyle at the graduation.

The broadcaster James Boyle, who is chairman of the Scottish Arts Council, received an honorary doctorate while architect Richard Murphy was made an honorary fellow.