London night czar Amy Lamé receives honorary doctorate from University of East London

Amy Lamé in her graduation gown, holding her honorary doctorate. Picture: Ian Smithers, Tempest

Amy Lamé in her graduation gown, holding her honorary doctorate. Picture: Ian Smithers, Tempest - Credit: Archant

London’s night czar has receieved an honorary doctorate in business administration from the University of East London.

At a ceremony in the Royal Dock’s ExCeL arena yesterday (Weds), Amy Lamé was recognised for her contributions to London’s economic and cultural life, with a focus on music and social nightlife venues and night workers.

In her first year as night czar, Ms Lamé has saved nightclub Fabric, helped scrap Form 696 (a risk assessment which grime and rap musicians say unfairly targets them), and helped campaign to save the Earl of Essex pub in Manor Park.

“It’s overwhelming,” she said.

“Especially from an institution like the University of East London. It’s a practical and forward-thinking place, and it feels like it comes from the community of east London so it means more to me.”

Amy learned she was receiving her doctorate a few months ago, but said it took a while for the news to sink in.

“I’m the first person from my family to graduate,” she said.

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“My father and grandfather left school when they were 14. Everyone from my family comes from difficult educational backgrounds. The fact that I’m the first one makes it really special.”

Amy received her first degree in 1992, when she graduated from Washington College in Maryland, USA, with a degree in French and humanities. Originally from New Jersey, she came to London straight after graduating, where her first job was in a late-night cafe bar in Soho.

She said: “London is a global leader. We are a strong and resilient community and armed with a degree from UEL, you have opportunities here that other young people won’t have.

“There are particular challenges for young people at the moment. Rents are high, there’s uncertainty over Brexit, but London is a place where we can continually renew ourselves. It’s a place of opportunity.”

Amy became London’s first night czar in 2016, and said her new honour means in the future, she’ll be able to do more with young people in east London.

“I’m looking forward to working with the students at UEL,” she said.

“They are the future of London, with their new ideas and resilience in finding solutions to challenges that London faces.

“You have some of the brightest students in the world in here.”