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Honorary doctorate a 'privilege' for Downton creator

The creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, was in Lincoln today to receive an honorary doctorate in recognition of his contribution to the arts.

Despite being an Oscar-winning writer and director and a member of the House of Lords, Fellowes - The Lord of the Manor of Tattershall - told Calendar reporter Adam Fowler, it was privilege to get the honour:

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Famous Leeds venue to close

One of Leeds' most famous venues is to close after 20 years.

The Cockpit in Leeds closes after 20 years Credit: Cockpit

The Cockpit on Swinegate has hosted everything from touring bands to local up and coming acts as well as regular club nights.

A statement on their website said:

It is with great regret that we have to announce the permanent closure of the Cockpit. After 20 great years as an integral pillar of the Leeds music scene we have decided that it is no longer viable to deliver you the level of service you deserve with the building in its current condition.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you who came to watch your favourite bands, danced, stage dived, crowd surfed, found your life partner and gave the Cockpit its reputation as one of the best live music venues in the UK.

– Cockpit

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Britain's Got Talent star dies

John Neill, who was part of the Doncaster duo 2Grand along with his granddaughter Sallie Lax, who reached the finals of Britain's Got Talent in 2009 has died.

2Grand's John Neill and his granddaughter Sallie Lax Credit: Direct Talent

John, who lost his wife Joan to cancer 3 days before auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent, had been battling cancer for some time but had continued to perform while receiving treatment, John and his family decided to keep the treatment quiet, as they didn't want to upset the fans.

John Neill Credit: Direct Talent

A statement from Susan his daughter was posted on 2 Grand's official Facebook page on Saturday 6th September “It is with great sadness I must write that Granddad John the nations favourite granddad passed away this evening at 7.10pm. He was a great man, loving father, granddad and great granddad. He will be sadly missed by many people xxx”

Transformers movie cars visit children's hospice

A Doncaster based car hire company lit up the faces of youngsters staying at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice when they visited with their movie replica cars from the hit Transformers movies.

It was like a scene from a movie as the cars arrived at the hospice in convoy this afternoon after being driven from Doncaster where Transformers Car Hire are based.

The procession consisted of ‘Bumblebee’ a Chevrolet Camaro, ‘Barricade’ a black and white Police Saleen S281, ‘Beaterbee’ a 1977 Camaro and ‘Lockdown’ a Lamborghini Aventador which was closely followed by the Hasbro ‘Optimus Prime’ truck. This is the first time that the cars have been seen together outside of the United States.

Accompanying the vehicles was Doncaster born actor Mark Ryan who is the voice of Bumblebee and Lockdown in the Transformers movies.

Children and staff at Bluebell Wood meet Yorkshire-born actor Mark Ryan, the voice of Bumblebee and Lockdown. Credit: Bluebell Wood Hospice

It was lovely meeting all the children at Bluebell Wood today. I have been very fortunate in my career to be afforded the chance to help wherever I can.

" Being from Doncaster and Yorkshire born and bred, I’m glad to help Bluebell Wood doing good work with children in the local community”

– Mark Ryan

Bhangra stars at Darnall Carnival

The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Cllr Peter Rippon, will visit Darnall Carnival this lunchtime.

He will be met by children from Greenlands School, who will lead him into High Hazels Park where the event is taking place from midday until 5pm. Attractions include an array of music and dance artists as well as stalls, rides, information, food and other attractions.

Last year 5,000 people visited the Carnival and similar crowds are anticipated again, with the largest attraction being the afternoon performance by some of the UK's leading Bhangra music artists.

Light trail marks start of Freedom Festival 2014

The long-awaited start of Freedom Festival 2014 will be marked by the unveiling this evening of 'The Long Walk to Freedom', a stunning light trail that will illuminate Hull's Old Town.

Celebrations at last year's Freedom Festival Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Eight local artists have been commissioned to create new installations to form the light trail, which is inspired by Nelson Mandela and highlights the parallels between Mandela's work in fighting for equality and the origins of Freedom Festival.

Along the light trail, Mandela's greatest moments and achievements, reimagined as installations of light, colour and sounds, will be played out on the cobbles of Hull's Old Town.

Audio-visual installations, dynamic interplays of light and shadow and a 75 metre mural created by 10 graffiti artists will all feature as the trail winds its way from Hull's Museum Quarter to a fire at dusk in the Nelson Mandela Peace Gardens.

The Hull Freedom Chorus will welcome the Freedom Flame - a Dutch flame symbolising the end of occupation during WWII - to officially mark the opening of the light trail and the start of the festival.

Leading the flame from the Gardens, street theatre performers Spark! will take the audience from the heart of the Old Town to the Yellow Bus Stage in the heart of the Marina.

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