She is the Danc­ing Queen

THE (Times Higher Education) - - THE POPPLETONIAN -

“I can’t say that I’ve heard of a per­son called Gary Neville.”

Although Daphne Ar­bour, the Head of the Pop­ple­ton School of Terp­si­chorean and Dra­matic Art, is clearly un­ac­quainted with Manch­ester United’s for­mer de­fender, she has rushed to de­clare her “to­tal sup­port” for Mr Neville and the group of other foot­ballers who have cre­ated a new in­sti­tu­tion of higher ed­u­ca­tion: Uni­ver­sity Academy ’92.

Ms Ar­bour, who took time off from her Mon­day morn­ing Mime and Move­ment class to speak to our re­porter Keith Ponting (30), de­nounced those “higher ed­u­ca­tion snobs” who claimed that al­low­ing Mr Neville’s academy to use the name uni­ver­sity sim­ply be­cause it en­joyed a loose con­nec­tion with Lan­caster Uni­ver­sity was un­der­min­ing the “uni­ver­sity ti­tle”.

What, asked Ms Ar­bour, was so spe­cial about that ti­tle? “Thanks to the ex­cel­lent work car­ried out by the coura­geous min­is­ter for higher ed­u­ca­tion, Mr Jo John­son, it is dif­fi­cult to see how any de­vel­op­ment what­so­ever could fur­ther un­der­mine the sta­tus of Bri­tish univer­si­ties.”

Ponting won­dered if her re­ac­tion to the Gary Neville Uni­ver­sity Academy was in any way prompted by the re­cent fail­ure of her own col­lege to

ac­quire uni­ver­sity sta­tus?

“Not at all. Although it cer­tainly made me won­der if I might have been wise to have stressed my own foot­balling con­nec­tion in the ap­pli­ca­tion.”

“And the na­ture of that con­nec­tion?”

“I seem to re­call that a very heavy Premier League striker with pro­nounced freck­les once sat on my knee dur­ing the days when my spe­cial­ist danc­ing was of the ‘lap’ va­ri­ety.”

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