ACTRESS Amy Nuttall has told how surprised and overwhelmed she is to be graduating from the University of Bolton today.

The Bolton-born star is to receive a honorary doctorate from the university in recognition of her contribution to the theatre and dramatic arts.

Miss Nuttall will join hundreds of students celebrating degree success as she becomes a Doctor of Arts.

She said: “It has completely overwhelmed me to be offered this honorary doctorate from the university of Bolton.

“It came as such a lovely surprise, especially to my parents. I always love coming back to Bolton to see the family but I’m sure this will be a very special day for us all.”

Miss Nuttall is an actress and singer best known for playing Chloe Atkinson in the long-running ITV soap opera Emmerdale.

Since leaving the show she has starred in musicals in London, Edinburgh as well as in her home town at the Bolton Octagon.

She is currently filming Downton Abbey.

She will join radio broadcasters Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie, who will both be honoured for their contribution to broadcasting and communications by becoming Doctors of Letters.

Four degree congregation ceremonies will be held today and tomorrow and will be attended by 1,399 of the 2,593 students graduating this summer.

This year, celebrations will be led by Baroness Morris of Bolton, who was officially installed as the university’s first Chancellor at last year’s ceremony