RUBY Wax has been appointed as the chancellor of the University of Southampton.

As part of her new role, the actor, author and mental health campaigner will host graduation ceremonies and work towards the development of the university.

Her first day in the post will be May 1 after succeeding Dame Helen Alexander, who served the university from 2011 until her death from cancer in 2017.

She said: "I'm thrilled and honoured to take up the role of chancellor for the University of Southampton.

"I'm looking forward to getting to know more about the university, and particularly keen to engage with Southampton's students, staff and graduates across its wide range of subjects and activities which I find inspiring.

"I also hope to engage the university community more closely in my activities focused on mental health so that together we can explore how to overcome the stigma of mental health in society, especially amongst younger generations."

Ms Wax is best known for her comedy and documentary work on television, but is also an advocate for mental health.

She has explored her own experience of clinical depression through her writing and performing, and studied for a masters degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy at the University of Oxford.

Her published books include Sane New World: Taming the Mind, and her latest UK tour is based on her newest book How to be Human: The Manual.

Philip Greenish, chair of university council, said: “I am delighted to confirm the appointment of Ruby Wax as Chancellor of the University of Southampton.

"Ruby brings a fresh perspective to the role and I am confident that as an enthusiastic and engaged ambassador for our university community, her insights, experiences and campaigning capabilities will benefit us all for years to come."