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2 June 2011, 14:12
The actor Brian Blessed has been nominated to be the next Chancellor of Cambridge University.
The historic post will become vacant on June 17th when The Duke of Edinburgh steps down after 34 years.
A campaign to replace him with Brian Blessed has been launched by a group of Cambridge graduates.
The 74 year old can now stand in a university contest for the role of Chancellor, after the campaign persuaded the necessary number (50) of Cambridge graduates who hold an MA to nominate him.
It's understood Blessed has accepted the nomination and will now stand in the contest.
According to the campaign group trying to get him into the post, Blessed said he is "absolutely staggered" by the offer and "delighted to accept the nomination".
In his acceptance letter to the group, he says: "For me, Cambridge has always been the centre of the Earth, there is a brightness and light there that rivals that on Mount Everest.
The University buildings are architecturally beautiful, the whole setting is wonderful and enchants the soul.
I am thrilled to be asked, and wish you every success with the campaign."
Seth Thevoz, on behalf of the campaign group, said: "We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response from alumni.
In just one Bank Holiday we managed to get enough people for Brian to qualify as a candidate.
This is a real grassroots effort.
Brian’s nominators come from all walks of life: young and old alike, conservatives, liberals, socialists, barristers, academics, stand-up comedians, actors, management consultants, social workers, research scientists, librarians, PR professionals, civil servants, even three ex-Presidents of the Union.
It’s a really broad coalition.
What we all agree on is that he’d make an amazing Chancellor."
It's understood a vote to decide who the next Cambridge University Chancellor will be will take place sometime between Tuesday 25 October and Tuesday 1 November.