University to honour director

THE Bridlington-born director of Little Voice will receive an honorary degree in Scarborough this week.

Mark Herman who brought Scarborough national and international fame after making the 1997 film in the town, will be honoured at the University of Hull Scarborough Campus' annual degree ceremony at the Futurist on Friday.

Little Voice starred Michael Caine, Ewan McGregor and Jane Horrocks. It grossed more than 7 million and received Oscar, Bafta and Golden Globe nominations.

The film's crew made the most of Scarborough's diverse landscape, using venues and landmarks such as the Foreshore, West Pier, the Spa Suncourt, The Leeds Hotel in West Sandgate, and the Castle Dykes.

They also used the old Bottomley's confectionary warehouse in Trafalgar Street West for the home of Horrocks' character.

The site is now home to Samaritan House, which Horrocks returned to the town to officially open in 2008.

Scarborough's entertainment scene was also given the chance to shine with appearances by several performers and musicians.

Some of the local artists included trombone player Tony Turner, Doug Stewart on guitar, Mike Lynskey on trumpet, Aidan Lawrence on bass, Dave Kemp on saxophone, Bob Scott on drums and conductor George Bradley.

Mr Herman has also directed a string of other hits. Brassed Off was about the struggles of a colliery band and the troubles they faced after their pit closed.

Purely Belter told of two cheeky young lads trying to scrape together enough money for a football season ticket at Newcastle, while The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas was an altogether darker production, set in wartime Germany and tackling harrowing issues surrounding the Holocaust.

The film was adapted from a book by Irish author John Boyne, which won several literary awards and sold more than three million copies in 2007.

Mr Herman, 56, went to school at Woodleigh School, Langton, and studied film at Leeds Polytechnic. He will follow in the footsteps of Snainton-born Hollywood actor Sir Ben Kingsley, who received an honorary degree from the university in 2008, and Scarborough businessman Tom Pindar, the lifetime president and former chairman of the Pindar empire, who was honoured last year.