Graduation 24.05.24

Much-celebrated reporter and weather presenter Owain Wyn Evans receives honorary degree from University of Salford

Award-winning television and radio presenter & much-celebrated fundraiser Owain Wyn Evans has received an honorary degree from the University of Salford for his outstanding contribution to the arts.

The BBC Radio 2 presenter and long-term BBC weather presenter and reporter collected his degree at The Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays today.

Known worldwide for his drummathon which has raised nearly £4m and counting for Children in Need, Owain made his name in the North West whilst working at BBC North West, The One Show and BBC Breakfast where his zest for life, warm nature and passion for the drums saw him embraced by households across the country.

After many years living in Manchester, Owain moved back to Wales where he now presents BBC Radio 2’s Early Breakfast Show and continues to work as a presenter for Welsh language channel S4C.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, he said: “It is amazing because I know how hard it is to earn a degree or any kind of higher education certificate.

“I feel like I have such a connection to Salford having grown up in a working class community in an ex-industrial mining town that has quite a similar past to the cities and towns of the North West of England.

“So for me to be presented with an honorary degree from a great university like the University of Salford, it made me quite emotional when I was asked. Going to university never worked out for me but I always did think in the back of my mind that a degree would be lovely!”

Owain first started working at the BBC when he was 18 and previously had harboured ambitions to work as a lighting technician or a session drummer before he started doing his presenting work.

He has worked for regional stations across the national broadcaster such as BBC Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Wales Today and BBC Look North in addition to appearing as a guest on television programmes The Wheel, Pointless Celebrities, Celebrity Mastermind, Peter Crouch’s Year Late Euros, Strictly: It Takes Two, Freeze the Fear and Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Owain hosted a series of ‘in conversation with…’ programmes for both BBC Sounds and BBC Local Radio. One of his interviewees was Dolly Parton, who he confesses to be his favourite interview as a journalist.

He said: “To say that you’ve interviewed Dolly Parton is really something. She was very interested in Welsh folk music and was asking me about my name so I really adored having that amazing opportunity just to speak to her and have that intimate conversation over Zoom. It was really special.”

As an honorary graduate, Owain is keen to work with the University on finding opportunities to convey his specialist knowledge as a journalist and broadcaster to students in the years to come.

Owain said: “I’m absolutely keen to pass on any knowledge and help work with students as part of this role.

“There have been times in my career where people have helped me and you know, it’s nice to be nice and helpful. I’m 39 now, and the media landscape is constantly changing and its already very different to how it was when I was first working for the BBC but if there’s a way in which my knowledge can help young people achieve something then that must be a good thing.”

As for his speech on the day, Owain is going to keep his advice simple for Salford’s next generation of graduates.

He said: “My advice is probably going to be to not take yourself too seriously. And to be kind. I know that sounds a bit cheesy but you never know when you might meet other people again in your career so be nice, be kind.

“Don’t be afraid to change how you do things because I think we’re probably going to see the work landscape evolve even more and even quicker over the next few years now with the technologies emerging now.”