THE man behind The Beatles yesterday proved the long and winding road had all been worth it.

Sir George Martin, 85, known as the “fifth Beatle”, was awarded an honorary degree from Oxford University.

He produced all but one of The Beatles’ original albums, including The Beatles, Help! and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Sir George, who lives in Faringdon, was among eight people recognised in the Oxford University Encaenia ceremony at the Sheldonian Theatre.

Sir George said: “I’m delighted to receive this accolade. I’ve been lucky enough to work with brilliant collaborators from many fields of music and the arts.”

Animal rights activists demonstrated outside the theatre, chanting throughout the ceremony.

Encaenia ceremonies have previously attracted protests from campaigners angry at the building of a laboratory in South Parks Road.

Other dignitaries receiving an honorary degree included Italian president Giorgio Napolitano and justice of the South African court, Edwin Cameron.

Picture: Jon Lewis