The 33-year-old started out as a runner at Anglia TV and now presents the BBC’s coverage of Formula 1. He is set to lead the coverage of the 2012 Olympics in London.

Graduation week, which runs from 17-20 July, will also see honorary degrees awarded to My Family actress Zoë Wanamaker and Olympic cyclist Emma Pooley.

Last year Patrick Stewart was bestowed with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University during the graduation ceremonies, and in the past figures including broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, actor Alun Armstrong and former F1 driver Martin Brundle have also been honoured.

UEA Registrar and Secretary Brian Summers said: “We present honorary degrees to those who have made a remarkable contribution to the arts, science, sport, and civil society. This July we will bring together 14 highly acclaimed and distinguished individuals who richly deserve this recognition.”

On being informed of his impending Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law, Humphrey said: “I’m incredibly privileged to receive such an accolade from the University Of East Anglia. I must also admit to feeling rather embarrassed and very lucky to be meeting the rest of the graduates who have all had to study a lot harder than me to achieve their doctorates.

“I’m really looking forward to spending time at the University, and so proud that my home town boasts such an impressive and successful teaching establishment.”

The other award recipients include singer-songwriter Cathy Dennis, who will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Music and Emmy award-winningPoirot producer Brian Eastman (Honorary Doctorate of Letters).

Olympic hopeful Pooley, who grew up in Norfolk, won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Games, and is hoping to go one better at London 2012.

She said: “It is a great distinction to be accorded an honorary degree and I am very grateful to the UEA for giving me this honour. It is especially fitting because many years ago when I was an enthusiastic (though not talented!) runner at school in Norwich I used to train and race in the grounds of the UEA.

“I’m very much looking forward to attending the degree ceremony in July this year.”

Pooley will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law. The full list of honorary graduates can be found here.