Take That superstar Gary Barlow was made an Honorary Yorkshireman tonight after making a surprise appearance at the White Rose Awards in Leeds.
Gary Barlow, who is from Cheshire, received the award alongside Tim Firth his co-writer of a new musical The Girls. The musical tells the story of the Calendar Girls, a group of Yorkshire women who made a nude calendar to raise money for Leukaemia Research. The Girls will premiere at Leeds Grand Theatre on November 14.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, presented the Honorary Yorkshiremen awards at tonight’s White Rose Awards, which is being held at the first direct arena Leeds. The White Rose Awards honours the very best tourism businesses in Yorkshire and is the biggest tourism event of its kind in the UK.
Watched by the original Calendar Girls, Gary Barlow told the audience:
“This is amazing. I’ve got many awards but believe me this is going right in the middle of them. The reaction here tonight shows why we’re here. I’ve always played to great audiences here in Yorkshire and I’m hoping for that for the show. ”
Tim Firth added:
“As the son of a man from Doncaster and Leeds United supporter this is a very proud night for me.”
Guests at the White Rose Awards include Lizzie Jones, the widow of rugby league star Danny Jones, Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos players as well as stars from Emmerdale and World Championship silver medal winning Leeds gymnast Nile Wilson.
Sir Gary Verity said:
“What a night! To have one of the world’s biggest pop icons walk onto the stage at the White Rose Awards was an incredible moment and such a buzz for all the finalists who are here to celebrate the best of Yorkshire tourism.
“I am very proud to welcome Gary Barlow and Tim Firth as honorary Yorkshiremen. Gary and Tim have done a great job of telling an extraordinary tale about a group of ordinary Yorkshire women and I am sure The Girls will be a major success.”
Welcome to Yorkshire’s White Rose Awards honour the best tourism businesses in the county covering 16 categories including Tourism Event of the Year, Large Visitor Attraction and Restaurant with Rooms. The full list of winners will be announced by midnight tonight. For more information go to www.whiteroseawards.com