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Crime writer Peter James to receive honorary doctorate

Published 24 July 2009

Best-selling crime author Peter James has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Brighton.

The award-winning writer and film producer in recognition of his ongoing contribution to the arts and to the status, infrastructure and culture of Brighton and Hove.

Peter James is to become a Doctor of LettersPeter (pictured right), who lives near Lewes, East Sussex, will receive his doctorate from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David House, on Thursday, July 30, during graduation ceremonies at the Brighton Dome.

Peter, who is 60, said: "I'm really thrilled to be honoured by the university. It has given me an incredible feeling, although I must confess I'm not sure if I deserve it. I was born in Brighton and this has enhanced an already strong bond and love I have for the city."

Peter's publishers Pan Macmillan has agreed to sponsor two academic excellence scholarships, The Peter James Scholarship, to be awarded to the best first and best second year undergraduate students on the BA Hons English Language and Literature degree courses for the academic year 2008-09.

Geoff Duffield, Group Sales and Marketing Manager for Pan Macmillan, said: "Pan Macmillan is delighted to be sponsoring the Peter James scholarships at the University of Brighton. Our sponsorship brings together two great Brighton institutions, both of which are at the heart of the community."

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David House, said: "We are delighted and grateful to Pan Macmillan for supporting the university in this way. We are strongly committed to our work in English language and literature and these scholarships, I am sure, will enhance our reputation and provide an incentive and reward to students of excellence."

Best known for his Roy Grace crime novels, Peter was born and raised in Brighton, and he has now made 26 movies and has 15 international best sellers to his name.

He was educated at what he describes as a "hellish" prep school in Brighton followed by Charterhouse, and then took a directing diploma at Ravensbourne Film School. Throughout his working life he has alternated between writing novels and writing and producing for film and TV.

In 1974 his first film Dead Of Night won Best Foreign Film at Sitges International Horror Film Festival. In 2000 he co-founded Movision Entertainment Ltd and was CEO until 2005. Under his stewardship Movision produced 16 films including in 2004 the BAFTA nominated Merchant Of Venice starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons.

With Brighton as his backdrop, Peter's first Roy Grace novel, Dead Simple, was published in 2005, going straight into the UK top 10 bestseller charts, and winning the Krimi-Blitz Award for Crime Novelist of the Year in Germany, and France's Le Prix Polar International for best crime novel.

Its follow-ups, Looking Good Dead, Not Dead Enough and Dead Man's Footsteps have been nominated for every major UK award and translated into 30 languages, with world sales of over four million. A TV adaptation of the Grace series currently is in development and Peter's latest novel Dead Tomorrow was published in June.

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Contact: Marketing and Communications, University of Brighton, 01273 643022