Salford Business School 01.03.24

Best-selling author Mike Gayle to return to Salford for honorary degree

Author Mike Gayle will be returning to his alma mater on Friday 22 July to receive an honorary degree from the University of Salford.

Birmingham-born Mike studied Sociology at the University of Salford, before moving to London. He became a full-time novelist in 1997 following the publication of his Sunday Times top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend. To date Mike is the author of twelve novels including Mr Commitment, Turning Thirty and Wish You Were Here. His books have been translated into over thirty languages.

Mike has written for a variety of publications including The Sunday Times, The Guardian and Cosmopolitan.

Reflecting on if his time at University had any influence on him becoming a novelist, he said: “At University I wrote for Salford Student magazine and this was the first time I saw my work in print - I think that gave me a taste for writing in general.

“As for fiction, I'd always read a lot and continued to do so during my course and afterwards. So, when my thoughts turned to writing fiction it just seemed like a natural fit.”

Mike fully enjoyed his time at Salford, believing “it was exactly what I needed at the time: a smaller, friendly university with great facilities.”

He also recalls fun nights out at the now derelict Crescent pub, just a few meters down from Crescent House where the sociology department was based at the time.

Upon graduating Mike set his sights on making it as a music journalist in London, though his career path didn’t quite go as planned in its early stages. Instead, he landed a role as an agony uncle for teenage girls' magazine Bliss before becoming Features Editor on the now much-missed Just Seventeen.

When asked if he has any tips for those graduating, he advises that they stay adaptable: “It's all too easy to get fixated on one thing assuming it will be the answer to everything, but the truth is people change, and so do their ambitions, and there's nothing wrong with that at all.”

He also says: “All you need is one yes to make a difference, so plug away until you get one.”

Mike will graduate with an honorary degree from Salford Business School at the Lowry on Friday 22 June, thirty-three years since he graduated.

“It seems like a long time since I studied here but at the same time, it feels like yesterday since I arrived at Salford for the first time. Where did the time go?” he said.