On a day when he was skipping school exams, Patrick Stewart met the teacher who would change his life, Cecil Dormand. Stewart says Dormand changed his life when he put a Shakespeare play into his hands at the age of 12. “A 400-year-old writer reached out a hand in invitation to me that morning. I felt a sense of an internal, private me being released and connecting with something mysterious, alien and exciting,” describes Stewart. It was Dormand who paid for Stewart to get his first acting lessons and then encouraged him to pursue acting as a career. It took Stewart years to find a way to pay back his mentor and friend; he granted Dormand an honorary degree when he was chancellor of the University of Huddersfield. Of his mentor, Stewart said, “He saved me when I was a boy and my education was failing – and has without doubt been the most significant person in my life.”

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