THE special effects artist responsible for bringing the sometimes terrifying world of Doctor Who to life has himself been made a doctor.

But there was no ‘regeneration’ involved when animatronics and prosthetics Neill Gorton received an honorary doctorate for his outstanding services to the creative industry at the University of Bolton.

The 47-year-old who has worked on some of the biggest films and TV shows of the last 30 years, has also been a visiting professor at the university for the past three years.

He told The Bolton News it was a ‘huge honour’ to receive the doctorate at the graduation ceremony.

He said: “It’s just been a fantastic experience, being involved in the university and to receive this is a lovely thing I have developed a real bond with the place, so I’m very happy indeed.”

And the winner of 12 major industry awards, who has worked on the Stephen Spielberg film Saving Private Ryan, added it was ‘right up there’ with the biggest achievements of his career.

He said: “I’ve really got involved in the teaching side over the last ten years, it’s a real passion I’ve developed and when you are really passionate about something getting recognition for it is really amazing.

“I’m one of the biggest employers in my sector in the industry and I have a number of graduates working for me. That was the whole reason I got involved in education, our industry was growing enormously and we were not seeing enough talent coming through, and rather than grumble I got more involved in education.

Photographer and film director Elaine Constantine also received an honorary doctorate for her outstanding contribution to the creative and film industries.

The 51-year-old, who considers Bolton and Bury to be her home towns, became renowned for her colourful portrayals of youth culture in the 1990s.

She won a prize at the 1998 John Kobal Foundation Portrait Awards and her cinematic debut, Northern Soul won the 2015 NME Awards Film of The Year.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this award from the University of Bolton. Bolton has featured heavily in my life, I grew up only four miles from this spot. For one Saturday every month my grandmother would take me to Tennessee Pancake House, which was absolutely brilliant, an amazing treat. And I can’t even begin to describe what kind of a treat this is.”

She added that her career had seen her travel the world but it had always been her dream to return to the North West and recreate some of the moments that defined her as a person.

And Chaplain Phil Mason, who has been chaplain at Bolton Wanderers since 2003 and heads the club’s community trust was made a doctor of the university for his outstanding services to the community.

He also became the Football League’s first full-time chaplain in 2011.

Chaplain Mason said: “It’s an amazing honour and totally unexpected. Obviously I have a passion for Bolton and the community, and I’m really privileged to work with a tremendous team of people at Bolton Wanderers as the chaplain and with the Community Trust.

“To receive this kind of honour and accolade is fantastic and in many ways it belongs to the team and the community of Bolton.”

And it was also another big day at university for scores of graduates.

Laura Crabb, 31, who graduated with a bdes hons special effects film and TV, said: “I’m excited, it’s a good achievement. I’ve loved my time here, I don’t want to leave. I might have to come back to do a Masters.”

And Cale Sinclair, 21, from Wigan, who is graduating with a Bsc in computer networking and security said: “It’s been good, I’ve enjoyed it and met a lot of good people.”

Andre Rodrigues, 22, from Bolton, who studied the same course added: “I’m very happy, it’s exciting.”