Honorary doctorates for Topp twins

LOUISE RISK
Last updated 05:00 21/10/2011
The Topp Twins
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ
TOPP HONOUR: Jools and Lynda Topp celebrate their honorary PhDs at a Waikato University graduation ceremony yesterday.

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Never ones to do things by halves, the Topp Twins have been capped for the second time in as many years.

Last year Jools and Lynda Topp were honoured with honorary masters' degrees from Wintec, and yesterday they were back on the Founders Theatre stage accepting honorary doctorates from Waikato University.

The comedians, singers, feminists and social activists have entertained audiences for more than 30 years, and their unique ability to challenge people's perceptions about controversial issues was acknowledged.

Lynda said she allowed Jools to get capped first because she was the oldest by five minutes, a good thing as it had allowed her time to stretch out in the womb and enjoy a cigarette and martini before making up the second four pounds of the eight-pound baby their mother had been told she was expecting.

The pair were so in sync in the womb their hearts beat as one, and they had been thought of as "The Twins" since the day of their birth.

Lynda and Jools had a few gems of wisdom to pass on to the graduating class at yesterday's graduation ceremony, who they knew had spent "many, many years studying" unlike their own education in "the school of life".

"It's time you got out and got a job."

Jokes aside, Lynda and Jools paid tribute to their family, particularly to their parents, Jean and Peter, who taught them, among other things, to respect their elders and to respect New Zealand.

"We are Waikato girls through and through: you have to remember where you're from," Lynda said.

The audience was treated to a waiata, some hip-hop and a yodelling lesson from the pair, who marked the occasion by wearing dresses under their red gowns.

As for being doctors, Lynda said there had been some discussion of who would wear the title: the Kens were keen on being Dr Kenneths, and Prue and Dilly Ramsbottom were interested, but Lynda and Jools were content to be themselves, not doctors.

"It's nice to know we can if we need to, though."

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