London, Feb 6 (IANS) Oxford University has named British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Watson visiting fellows at Lady Margaret Hall.
Cumberbatch, whose last stage role was as Hamlet at the Barbican here, and Watson will be joined by Pet Shop Boys band member Neil Tennant, among the other 11 visiting fellows.
The college principal, Alan Rusbridger, announced the appointments on Friday, reports theguardian.com.
The actors will have duties which are supposed to enrich the cultural life of the university, and the fellows are also intended to help the academic community cross over into the various professional worlds.
“They are people drawn from a variety of backgrounds, callings and professions and we want them to form a bridge between our own academic community and the worlds they inhabit and represent,” Rusbridger said.
The principal elaborated on the role the university expects them to play. He said: “At a minimum we would like them to drop in occasionally at college, eat with us and meet informally with a variety of the LMH community.
“We would like them to do one thing a bit more structured. It could be a conversation or debate, a performance, a lecture or seminar, a form of outreach – or something we haven’t thought of. We can imagine fascinating interactions or collaborations between them.”
Other appointees include the former children’s laureate Malorie Blackman, the chief constable of Thames Valley police Francis Habgood, director Beeban Kidron, musician Mark Simpson and high court judge Rabinder Singh.
As far as their educational qualification is concerned, Cumberbatch studied for a Bachelor of Arts in drama at Manchester University and has an Master of Arts in classical acting, while Watson has a degree from the Ivy League Brown University in the US.