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Last Updated: Friday, 12 May 2006, 07:43 GMT 08:43 UK
Author gets city freeman honour
Alan Bennett
Alan Bennett will become a freeman of Leeds in recognition of his work
Celebrated author and playwright Alan Bennett will be made a freeman of his home city of Leeds on Friday.

Mr Bennett, 72, will receive the honour in recognition of his achievements as an author and his Leeds roots.

He was born and raised in Armley and first came to fame as part of the 1960s revue Beyond the Fringe.

He became widely recognised as one of Britain's most popular writers after his collection of Talking Heads monologues were televised in the 1980s.

Council leader Andrew Carter said the honour was well deserved and overdue.

'Distinguished company'

"While his glittering career has taken him to all corners of the world, he is a west Leeds lad who has never lost touch with his Leeds roots", he said.

"I am absolutely delighted that the city is able to honour him."

Other freemen of the city include Nelson Mandela, charity campaigner Jane Tomlinson, Leeds international pianoforte competition organiser Dr Fanny Waterman and Lord Denis Healey.

Mr Bennett said he was happy to be in "such distinguished company".

"To be a freeman is a great honour and I would like to take it as a testimony to that education the city gave me free of all charge so many years ago," he said.

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