SPECIAL effects maestro Ray Harryhausen is to be honoured by a North-East university.

The legendary animator was responsible for creating the dinosaurs in One Million Years BC, Valley of Gwangi and the skeleton battles in Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans.

The University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, is to confer Mr Harryhausen with an honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

Creator of the special effects in the Sinbad series of films, Mr Harryhausen first visited the Teesside campus in February, last year, when he talked about his career at the university's animation festival.

He is one of six leading figures to receive an honorary degree at the university's annual academic awards ceremony which runs from November 19 to November 22.

Attended by the former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, now Lord Brittan, the University's Chancellor, the ceremony will be the last to be conducted by Vice Chancellor Professor Derek Fraser who retires next March.

An honorary degree of Master of Science is to be bestowed on Middlesbrough born physiotherapist Alan Smith who helped in the rehabilitation of Alan Shearer before Euro '96 and David Beckham, prior to the 2002 World Cup.

Redcar authoress Jane Gardam, winner of the 1991 Whitbread Best Novel of the Year, is to be given an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Bill Murray, Chief Executive of South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust, a chartered engineer, is to be awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Sciences as is Ray Brunskill, a former dean of computing at the university and Philip Yuill, chairman of the Hartlepool building group of the same name.