Acclaimed actor Robert Lindsay has been awarded the prestigious Freedom of the Borough by Erewash Borough Council in recognition of the Ilkeston-born star’s achievements in his TV, stage and film career.
Borough Councillors voted at an Extraordinary Council meeting last night to bestow the award on one of Ilkeston’s most famous sons following a popular petition organised by a local resident calling for the honour to be made.
The Freedom of the Borough is a rare civic honour that is only granted by a local authority to people who have achieved at the highest level. On receiving the award, recipients are presented with a ribboned Badge of Office medal and an ornate framed scroll.
Robert was born in Ilkeston and attended Gladstone Boys’ School in the town before heading to college in Nottingham to study drama and then to London where he was accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
He said his childhood in Ilkeston remains strong in his memory and he is known to visit the town regularly – he was recently spotted at an Ilkeston FC home game, although he is also known to be an avid Derby County fan.
Councillor Chris Corbett, Leader of Erewash Borough Council, said: "This award is made on behalf of all the residents of Ilkeston – and, indeed, Erewash – in honour of Robert’s outstanding and award winning career. He is one of Britain’s best-loved and best-known actors and it is with great pride that we can say he is ‘one of ours’, he is from our borough.
“We thank those who organised and signed the petition asking us to award this Freedom of the Borough. Robert is an actor of the highest calibre and his ongoing achievements on TV, in films and on the stage speak for themselves. This is a well-deserved honour.”
On TV, Robert became a household name in the 70s when he played the title role in the popular comedy series Citizen Smith and he has continued to be a force on television in shows like My Family, Alan Bleasdale’s GBH and Jakes Progress.
His stage career has seen him headline in the West End and on Broadway, playing major roles like Hamlet, Richard III and Henry II in Becket – while his lead role in Me and My Girl won him multiple awards.