Idris Elba Receives Honorary Doctorate From Ravensbourne University
11th Annual LACMA Art + Film Gala - Arrivals
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 05: Idris Elba attends the 11th Annual LACMA Art + Film Gala at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 05, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Idris Elba Receives Honorary Doctorate From Ravensbourne University

Jasmyne Jeffery December 7, 2022

Idris Elba has been given an honorary doctorate from Ravensbourne university. The 50-year-old actor spoke in front of 800 students at their graduation and joked about calling himself “Doctor Dris” from now on.

Luther and Marvel star Idris Elba has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Ravensbourne University in London. The actor was awarded as well with Tinker Hatfield, the Vice President of Creative Concepts at Nike. Along with 800 graduating students, the stars received their accolades at the Barbican in London.

On giving Idris the award, the Vice Chancellor of Ravensbourne University said: ‘Our students look up to Idris and Tinker for their work to champion diversity in the creative industries and beyond.”

What Did Idris Elba Receive His Honorary Doctorate For?

As well as Tinker, Idris received his doctorate for his efforts to champion diversity.

In 2013, the actor started the production company Green Door Pictures, set up to bring the best of diverse storytelling to a global audience. It was formed to allow creative individuals in the TV and film industry a more direct way of getting these stories across to a worldwide audience.

Earlier this year, Idris worked with the BBC to create docu-series Fight School. The actor took disadvantaged children under his mentorship for five months and put them through an experimental boxing school. The effort was to teach them discipline, determination and focus.

In 2018, the star was one of 50 people named for helping shape London’s cultural landscape. In both 2020 and 2021, he was listed by Time Out magazine in the top 100 most influential people in the UK of African/Caribbean descent.

Photo by Gotham/GC Images

Idris Elba Was Honoured To Recieve The Award

Upon receiving the honorary doctorate from Ravensbourne University, The Mirror reports that Idris said the following:

“Education is the exact foundation that I am standing on here today. Because of my education, I got to go places that I never even dreamed of going to.

He then spoke of the importance of seeing diversity on the screen, and being an active part of positive change:

“I wanted to be in the creative arts because I wanted to contribute, I wanted to have a seat at the table, I wanted to have someone that looked like me, to have something to offer, and my education prepared me for that.

“Ravensbourne stands for the very same values: putting skillsets in students and giving them an opportunity to have a seat at the table forever. “

And whilst he was certainly proud to receive the honorary doctorate, Idris was also very happy about the possible name change it gave him:

“I am super proud of this because it’s an honour, but also, now, you lot can call me Doctor Dris.”

Idris Returns As Luther in 2023

One of the star’s biggest roles that saw him receive critical acclaim was as John Luther in the crime series. The BBC drama began in 2010 and built a considerable fanbase until its final episode in 2019. Stars such as Ruth Wilson also featured heavily on the show as the loveable villain, Alice.

The chemistry between the two had fans asking ‘will they or won’t they?’ across its run. In the final episode, it seemed as if Alice had died once and for all. But fans will have to wait and see if that’s true.

Idris will return as John Luther in the film adaptation of the series, coming to Netflix in March 2023. Though not a lot is known about what the film entails, it does take the detective out of London. But can you take London out of the DCI?

Idris spoke to Empire about the upcoming film and how it needed to stay true to the series:

“It’s really dangerous when expanding from television to film to throw a lot of money at it, and for that moment to change the characteristics of the show,”

“I wanted to make sure that even though we had a bigger budget, [we didn’t] distort the parameters of Luther-land too much. We do amplify the action and do amplify the stakes. But [Season 3’s] man-under-the-bed moment? That don’t cost you much money. Those moments are still intact.”

Luther fans will eagerly be awaiting the film’s release, including checking under their bed for weeks after.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time Entertainment and News Writer on university-themed website Freshered and HITC, and joined the company having previously worked in a freelance role. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger and graduated in 2022 with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Now, she puts her creativity to use reviewing university bars, Love Island episodes and the latest apps any 18-25-year-old is using.