TV producer and cultural entrepreneur Professor Phil Redmond CBE is to be awarded the Freedom of Liverpool.
The city’s highest civic honour will be bestowed on him by Lord Mayor, Councillor Christine Banks, at a special ceremony at Merseyside Maritime Museum on Friday 2 November.
Born in Huyton, Phil Redmond set up Mersey Television in the early 1980s and created three of Britain’s longest running drama programmes – Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks.
He was Deputy Chair and Creative Director of the city’s Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008, and latterly served as Chair of National Museums Liverpool.
He devised, and is Chair of, the UK City of Culture programme which was set up to capitalise on Liverpool’s success as European Capital of Culture, and is also Chair of the Liverpool City Region Cultural Partnership, charged with developing a 30-year cultural strategy.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “There has been no better advocate of Liverpool than Phil Redmond over the last 40 years. He has been a passionate and powerful voice for the city, helping tell our story.
“The success we enjoy now as a leading location for TV and film productions contributed hugely to his brave decision to set up Mersey Television in the early 1980s.
“It is fitting that we are awarding him the Freedom of Liverpool 10 years on since we were European Capital of Culture, a year in which he played a key role.”
Lord Mayor, Councillor Christine Banks, said: “Phil Redmond has made a phenomenal contribution to Liverpool during his lifetime and it is right and proper that we reward his work by awarding him the Freedom of the City.
“His devotion and dedication to his home city, along with his charity work, deserves the highest recognition.”
Alongside his personal career, he and his wife Alexis have supported many charitable and public sector causes becoming major benefactors across Merseyside, including Liverpool John Moores University, National Museums Liverpool and Alder Hey Hospital. Since selling Mersey Television in 2005, they have devoted almost all of their time to public service.
Phil Redmond said: “I’m extremely honoured. There is no greater accolade than to be granted an award such as this.
“I have always been extremely proud to be from and of Liverpool because the one thing it teaches you is that life is, really, what you want to make of it – but it can be so much greater if you have a strong, sometimes challenging but always overwhelmingly supportive community around you. I have been very lucky to have experienced that.”
He has recently turned to writing novels.
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