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Sons of South Tyneside to be honoured for their part in television dramas

The awards will be presented at a dinner to be held at the Customs House next month.
The awards will be presented at a dinner to be held at the Customs House next month.

Two men who have played a part in moulding the landscape of British television drama are set to be recognised on home turf.

Holby City actor George Irving and Our Friends in the North and George Gently writer Peter Flannery are set to be inducted as Honorary Fellows of The Customs House Academy.

George Irving is to be made an Honorary Fellow of The Customs House Academy.

George Irving is to be made an Honorary Fellow of The Customs House Academy.

The honour is bestowed on people who are from, or have been associated with, South Tyneside, who have gone on to make a significant contribution to the development of arts and entertainment.

They will be presented with their awards at a dinner at The Customs House in Mill Dam, South Shields, on Thursday, September 20.

Ray Spencer MBE, executive director of the venue, said: “I am very pleased that we are able to recognise the talents of two more people who were born in South Tyneside, both of whom I have admired for such a long time.

“It will be great to have both of them here, joined by some of our illustrious Honorary Fellows, celebrating this special night.”

It will be great to have both of them here, joined by some of our illustrious Honorary Fellows, celebrating this special night.

Ray Spencer

South Shields-born George played Anton Meyer in Holby City and has made regular TV appearances since the 1970s, landing his first TV role in When the Boat Comes In.

He said: “I grew up in South Shields, my family are here and my connections to the town have always been very close.

“My first acting experiences were at the Pier Pavilion in the 1960s.

“So it’s a particular pleasure to be honoured in this way by The Customs House which, under Ray’s legendary leadership, has achieved so much in my home town. 

Ray Spencer

Ray Spencer

“I’m looking forward to a special evening.”

Peter was born in Jarrow and was a resident playwright at the Royal Shakespeare Company in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Our Friends in the North was screened on BBC2 in 1996, charting the course of the lives of four friends from Newcastle between 1964 and 1995.

In 2007, he scripted an adaptation of Alan Hunter’s Inspector George Gently novels, entitled George Gently, for BBC One.

Peter Flannery helped script the BBC television series George Gently from the novels written by Alan Hunter.

Peter Flannery helped script the BBC television series George Gently from the novels written by Alan Hunter.

Existing Honorary Fellows include Sarah Millican, Jason Cook, Chris Ramsay, Joe McElderry, Encore, Ann-Marie Owens, John Woodvine, John Hays, Tom Kelly, John Miles, Andy Bogle, Lindsay Kemp, Sheila Graber, Alex Ferguson, Richard Ord and Bob Olley.