Actor and farmer Martin Clunes has taken up the role of chancellor of agri-specialist institutes Hartpury University and Harpury College.

The Gloucestershire University and College offers specialist undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and diplomas in agriculture, animal, business, equine, sport, and veterinary nursing, as well as A-levels and T Levels.

One of the UK’s best-known actors, Clunes has starred in popular series and films including Doc Martin, Shakespeare in Love, and Men Behaving Badly, for which he won a Bafta.

In addition to running a 130-acre farm, Mr Clunes has presented a number of animal-focussed and conservation themed documentaries.

Speaking about the appointment, Mr. Clunes said: “I’m deeply honoured to be appointed as the inaugural Chancellor of Hartpury University and Hartpury College.

“I look forward to sharing many of my passions and interests with like-minded students, staff, governors, and alumni and am excited to share in their numerous success stories.”

Hartpury University has recently been awarded Gold in all three areas of the Teaching Excellence Framework Gold, placing it in the top 15% of English universities, whilst Hartpury College retains Ofsted Outstanding in all areas.

Professor Andy Collop, principal of Hartpury University and Hartpury College said: “Martin’s commitment and experience in the equestrian, agricultural, animal, and countryside realms align particularly well with Hartpury’s own values and specialisms.

“I have no doubt that he’ll contribute to Hartpury’s rich heritage and help to inspire staff and students alike”.