AN author and broadcaster remembered her North-East roots when she received an accolade from her former university yesterday.

Dr Miriam Stoppard, a leading healthcare authority, received an honorary degree from Durham University.

She was conferred with an honorary doctorate of science (DSc) by university vice-chancellor Sir Kenneth Calman, at a ceremony in the Great Hall of Durham Castle.

It was second time lucky for Dr Stoppard, who was unable to attend the end-of-term graduation ceremonies at the castle, in early July.

Best known for her Dear Miriam newspaper health advice column, Dr Stoppard studied for her medical degree at Durham University, in the early 1960s, when it included King's College, Newcastle.

Following the division of the two institutions, she achieved a masters degree at Newcastle University in the middle of the decade.

Northumberland-born, she was brought up in the county and went to school in Newcastle.

Speaking after the ceremony, Dr Stoppard said yesterday's cold and wet weather took her back to her childhood days.

"It's bracing, just like it was on those trips to the coast during my younger days.

"In fact, I remember quite a few wild winters in those days in Northumberland," said Dr Stoppard.

She said that she hoped to be able to follow up yesterday's visit with further trips to the university, in her new role as an honorary degree holder.

A further honorary degree will be conferred by the university today.

West Indian-born sociologist Professor Stuart Hall will be awarded an honorary doctorate of civil law by Prof Calman, in another ceremony at the castle.