Video: Wizard day as Harry Potter’s chum gets cloak of honour

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HE graduated from Hogwarts with full heroic honours, and enjoyed more than a degree of wizarding success.

But now the man who played Neville Longbottom has conjured up the ultimate academic accolade – an honorary degree from his home city.

Matthew Lewis

Matthew Lewis

Matthew Lewis, 23, who portrayed lovable northerner Neville in all eight Harry Potter films, was among a host of big names honoured by Leeds Metropolitan University yesterday as part of its summer degree ceremonies.

They join the university’s 5,000 graduating students for 2012, who have also been awarded their certificates over the past five days.

Matthew, who was born in Horsforth, was awarded an honorary Master of Arts for his “significant contribution to the arts and charity work”.

The star, most recently seen in BBC1’s The Syndicate and soon to be seen in a British heist movie with Timothy Spall, said: “I’m absolutely honoured to receive this award from Leeds Metropolitan University. I still live in Leeds and to be acknowledged in this way is quite overwhelming.”

Other honorary graduates included England rugby union head coach Stuart Lancaster, Red or Dead designer Wayne Hemmingway, Olympic torch designer Edward Barber, Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle and Mumtaz Khan Akbar, the founder and owner of the Mumtaz Food Group.

Matthew has been acting since the age of five on the small screen, and appeared in dramas like Dalziel and Pascoe, Where the Heart Is and Heartbeat whilst attending drama classes in Horsforth, He beat 700 others at an audition at the Queens Hotel to win the part of Neville.

The star has remained loyal to his home city and holds season tickets for both Leeds Rhinos and Leeds United.

In 2010, he helped to launch a new cancer screening suite at St James’s Hospital and last year he joined in the Leeds 10k walk for local charity the Martin House Hospice.

Matthew is also involved with various good causes including Yorkshire Kidney Research, Action for Children, the Leeds Rhinos Rugby Foundation and Bethany’s Smile.

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