The Customs House is delighted to announce that two very famous names and faces are set to join what is rapidly becoming a highly esteemed roll call – The Customs House Academy.

Holby City actor George Irving and Our Friends in the North creator Peter Flannery will be inducted as Honorary Fellows of The Customs House Academy.

Irving and Flannery will be presented with their awards at a special dinner for which tickets are available to purchase, at The Customs House in Mill Dam, South Shields, on Thursday, September 20.

Tickets for the event, which is held in the surroundings of the Custom’s House intimate Dalton Suite, are priced at £ on 20 50 each that includes drinks on arrival followed by a 3 course meal with wine on the table. Following this, the newly inducted Fellows will then be interviewed and will talk about their lives and experiences, which can make for an extremely entertaining and informal evening.

The Honorary Fellows Award is bestowed on people who are from, or have been associated with, South Tyneside, who have gone on to make a significant contribution to the development of arts and entertainment locally, nationally and internationally.

Existing Honorary Fellows include: Sarah Millican, Jason Cook, Chris Ramsay, Joe McElderry, Encore, Ann-Marie Owens, John Woodvine, John Hays, Tom Kelly, John Miles, Andy Bogle, Lindsay Kemp, Sheila Graber, Bob Olley, Alex Ferguson and Richard Ord.

Ray Spencer MBE, Executive Director of The Customs House, said:

“I am very pleased that we are able to recognise the talents of two more people who were born in South Tyneside, both of whom I have admired for such a long time.

“Peter Flannery, best known for Our Friends in the North and George Gently, helped me get my drama degree when I performed his The Boy’s Own Story as my final piece and I saw George Irving most recently in Michael Chaplin’s Tyne, which was such a compelling story of our great river and the people associated with it.

“So it will be great to have both of them here, joined by some of our illustrious Honorary Fellows, celebrating this special night. We hope that as many people as possible will buy tickets to support the event.”

George Irving was born in May 1954 in South Shields and is best known for playing Anton Meyer in Holby City from 1999 to 2002, although he has made regular appearances on TV since the 1970s, landing his first TV role in When the Boat Comes In (1976).

Peter Flannery was born in Jarrow in October 1951 and educated at the University of Manchester. He was a resident playwright at the Royal Shakespeare Company in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Our Friends in the North was an award-winning nine-part series, screened on BBC2 in 1996, charting the course of the lives of four friends from Newcastle between 1964 and 1995. It starred Christopher Ecclestone, Gina McKee, Daniel Craig and Mark Strong.

In January 2007, Flannery scripted an adaptation of Alan Hunter’s Inspector George Gently novels, entitled George Gently, for BBC One, changing the setting of the stories from Suffolk to the north east in the 1960s and created new characters.

Starring Martin Shaw as the eponymous inspector and Lee Ingleby as his young assistant, Detective Sergeant John Bacchus, it was first shown on April 8, 2007 and the eighth and final series was broadcast last year.

Anyone interested in purchasing tickets for the event should contact Catherine Hymers, Customs House Operations Director, by emailing