FROM working in the pension department of Pilkington's through eight years of Brookside, with movie roles and the odd Bafta nomination along the way, actress Sue Johnson has always remained close to her Merseyside roots.

Yesterday, she was awarded an honorary fellowship by Liverpool John Moores University as a thank you for her work.

The 60 year-old, who picked up the honour at a ceremony at the Anglican Cathedral, was born in Warrington.

She is best known for playing Barbara Royle in the award-winning television series, The Royle Family, and for her portrayal of Sheila Grant in the former Mersey TV soap, Brookside.

For yesterday's ceremony she was allowed to pick the coloured trim of her robes.

And, in a gesture which shows her affinity to the region, she opted for red, to mark her love of Liverpool Football Club. Emblazoned on her gown was an LFC crest.

Ms Johnson, who still lives in Warrington, picked up her award yesterday for her services to the dramatic arts

Speaking before the ceremony, she said: "I am not even sure why they have given it to me.

"The fact that this has come from Liverpool is very important to me, though. It is a real honour that I have been given this.

"A day like this reminds you of what you have managed to achieve.

"There are so many things that have been so good in my career. I think that coming home to Brookside was wonderful because I love working in Liverpool.

"I'd have to say Goodbye Cruel World and coming back to the Liverpool for The Play What I Wrote as well was great.

"The thing is, though, that I love my job and what I do so there are so many times that I have enjoyed that I could not pick one particular thing as a highlight."

Despite turning 60 at the end of last year, she is still working as hard as ever appearing as Dr Grace Foley, the psychological profiler, for the BBC television series Waking the Dead.

Ms Johnson is now working on a documentary before filming starts again on Waking The Dead.

She said: "I think I might get a bit of stage work before going back to Waking The Dead at the end of the year.

"I hope to get a little bit of time off soon."