Large numbers of students from points south are one of the key means of squashing outdated images of the north. Very few seem disappointed by their experiences in Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle or our other cities and towns with universities. Quite the opposite. In spite of recession, the retention rates of young people who stay on after graduating remain impressive.
There's a different slant on that today, though, via an honour bestowed by Durham university on an alumna who left back in 1955, when the world of the Hovis advertisements made by Ridley Scott in 1973 was much closer to reality.
She is Biddy Baxter, the former editor and effectively soul and guardian angel of Blue Peter, the BBC TV programme whose influence on generations of young