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How city of Leicester plans to honour Lord Attenborough at 90


His work both on screen and behind the camera has been loved by film fans and critics for decades.

And now city arts venues are putting together plans for a host of special events in 2013 to mark Richard Attenborough's 90th birthday.

He made his stage debut as a teenager when he played Lucius in Julius Caesar at Leicester's Little Theatre in April, 1937.

Now the city-educated cinema legend is the Dover Street theatre's honorary life president.

John Ghent, a trustee at the Little Theatre, said: "Lord Attenborough has been tremendous for us and, having started his acting career here, it has been fantastic to have such a great relationship with him over the years.

"He is always interested in what we're doing and of course we want to celebrate this momentous occasion with some special events. Our trustees will be meeting in the new year to decide how best to do that and I'm sure there will be lots of ideas."

Lord Attenborough, who was born on August 29, 1923, was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester and his mother, Mary, was a board member at the Little Theatre.

It was there that his love of acting developed and he went on to study at RADA, in London.

The Little Theatre is not the only city venue planning to celebrate his 90th birthday.

Embrace Arts is based at the University of Leicester's Richard Attenborough Centre, which is named in honour of him.

Louisa Milburn, co-director at Embrace Arts, said: "We're looking forward to 2013 for many reasons, not just because we have a great mix of comedy, dance, visual art, music and children's events, but because it's Richard Attenborough's 90th birthday on August 29.

"Embrace Arts was opened by Lord Attenborough in 1997 and he was instrumental in raising funds for the building. His continuing support as patron has allowed us to develop and widen our programmes, ensuring that disability and inclusion are at the heart of all we do.

"We have some exciting plans to celebrate Richard's birthday in the pipe line that will be revealed soon."

Patrick Welsh, from the Phoenix cinema, in Leicester's Cultural Quarter, said: "He's an icon of British film and therefore it's right that we celebrate everything he has brought to the genre.

"Plans have yet to be discussed in full, but they might well involve showing a wide selection of his films, whether as actor or director.

"His credits include such greats as Brighton Rock, The Great Escape, and Ghandi, which won several Academy Awards, so there is certainly an abundance to choose from."

How city of Leicester plans to honour  Lord Attenborough  at 90

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