ACTRESS and comedian Elaine C Smith has been awarded an honorary doctorate from The Open University in Scotland for her services to the arts. She joined over 600 graduates from across Scotland who received their awards at the Glasgow Concert Hall yesterday.

Currently starring in BBC Scotland’s Two Doors Down with her BAFTA award-winning portrayal of the famously foul-mouthed Christine, the prominent Yes campaigner’s career spans television, theatre and stand-up comedy.

She is perhaps best known for playing Mary Doll in Rab C Nesbitt, the longstanding BBC Two sitcom, yet her work extends well beyond this role. She was part of the original theatrical cast and was instrumental in the production of the ground-breaking and enduringly popular play The Steamie, and she has been one of the few women to have headlined Scottish pantomime for over 20 years, opening up opportunities for young female performers to follow in her footsteps.

Together with her husband Bob, Smith set up her own company RPM-ARTS producing a series of sell-out one woman shows – Shirley Valentine, The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. Other television drama roles include Two Thousand Acres of Sky, 55 Degrees North, and The Syndicate.

A highly successful stand-up, her shows have included Hormonally Driven, Elaine With Attitude and Twelve Nights of Christmas. She also fronted three series of STV’s Burdz Eye View, which followed her discoveries as she toured Scotland.

Smith said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and humbled to be honoured in this way by a truly wonderful and inspirational institution.

“I have been so fortunate in my own life and career to have been inspired by so many amazing women and men who have blazed a trail for all who have come behind.

“I hope in some small way I have, and will continue to do, the same for others, especially women.”