Belfast Telegraph

Stephen Fry's Wilde about Irish university honour

By Shane Hickey

Actor, writer, comedian and tweeter Stephen Fry arrived in Trinity College last night to rapturous applause from 300 young and very eager fans.

It was the latest stop on a brief visit to Ireland which saw him take a guest turn in 'Ros na Run', have a game of golf in Connemara and down a feed of Guinness.

Last night it was the turn of students from Trinity's Philosophical Society to show their appreciation to the man who has over two million followers on Twitter.

Dressed in a full tux, he thanked the "shimmering darlings" in the audience for the overwhelming reception.

He was in the prestigious university to receive the medal of honorary patronage from the 'Phil' debating society for his contribution to comedy, writing, acting and journalism.

Mr Fry said the award was "one of the great honours of my life" and spoke to the audience about the university life of Oscar Wilde.

His guest turn in 'Ros na Run' was filmed on Monday when he played a lost tourist who stumbled into the local pub in the Irish language soap.

Mr Fry spoke to the audience of his respect for how Irish people have used language through the years and produce some of the worlds great writers.

Although he was suffering from a cold, he had managed to complete filming yesterday and also have a discussion about James Joyce and Wilde during a trip to a Dublin pub earlier in the day.

And it was Wilde he repeatedly referred to as he described him as a "wise and extraordinary philosopher" during his address.

One of Joyce's most famous works, 'Ulysses', was the book which he continues to read throughout his life, he said.

When asked what advice he would give a younger version of himself, he said he would be more open to new experience and "to be less worried".

"When you are young you worry a lot, I wish I had just let go," he said.

He described Irish as a "very difficult language", adding: "It is obviously a privilege to speak one of the ancient languages of Europe."

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