Degree for Billy Elliot writer

Lee Hall, who wrote the screenplay for the film 'Billy Elliot', receives an honorary degree from Northumbria University.

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Lee Hall given honorary degree by Northumbria University

The North East playwright who wrote Billy Elliot launched a scathing attack on cuts in arts funding by Newcastle City Council as he received an honorary degree at Northumbria University.

Lee Hall used the occasion to again accuse the council of attacking art for ordinary people.

Council bosses say they are responding to budget cuts from the government.

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Billy Elliot author attacks council arts cuts

The North East author that penned Billy Elliot has accused Newcastle City Council of attacking the arts for working class people.

Lee Hall spoke out about cutbacks to services including libraries and theatres when he was back in the region to receive an honorary degree from Northumbria University.

The author said that the cuts would affect ordinary people the most.

The local authority say that their actions are a necessary response to slashed government budgets.

Billy Elliott writer gets honorary degree

The playwright Lee Hall, who wrote The Pitmen Painters and the screenplay for the film Billy Elliott will receive an honorary degree from Northumbria University.

He was born in Newcastle, and his work has been recognised internationally for his work on stage and screen. Much of his writing is rooted in the working class culture of the North East. A central theme in his work is the role of art in those communities.

He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters alongside students from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences at a ceremony today.

"I am thrilled to be honoured by the University at a time when Libraries and Arts are being threatened in the City. The recognition that culture and art is valued as centrally important to the University's concerns is more than simply a personal recognition, but a reminder of the vital part they play in all our lives."

– Lee Hall
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