TV producer and cultural entrepreneur Phil Redmond CBE is set to be awarded the Freedom of Liverpool.
The proposal to bestow the city’s highest civic honour will be considered at an extraordinary meeting of Liverpool City Council on Wednesday 18 July and, if approved, a ceremony will be held at a future date.
Born in Huyton, Phil Redmond set up Mersey Television in the early 1980s and created three of Britain’s longest running drama programmes – Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks.
He was Deputy Chair and Creative Director of the city’s Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008, and latterly served as Chair of National Museums Liverpool.
He devised, and is Chair of, the UK City of Culture programme which was set up to capitalise on Liverpool’s success as European Capital of Culture, and is also Chair of the Liverpool City Region Cultural Partnership, charged with developing a 30-year cultural strategy.
Most recently he has been a key player in the city’s bid to become the new headquarters of Channel 4.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Phil Redmond is a cultural giant who has spent almost four decades at the top of his game, and has been a passionate and powerful voice for Liverpool in national media circles.
“He has played a key role in putting the city on the film and TV map, helped make Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year the most successful ever and has also contributed hugely to the city’s cultural scene.
“As we celebrate 10 years since Capital of Culture, it is right and proper that Liverpool gives him the thanks he truly deserves by rewarding his incredible contribution to the city.”
Lord Mayor, Councillor Christine Banks, said: “You have to make an outstanding contribution to life in Liverpool to be considered for Freedom of the City and there is no doubt in my mind that Phil Redmond has done exactly that.
“He has used his influence to shine a spotlight on Liverpool and has consistently been a huge advocate for the city during good times and bad.
“His dedication to public service, together with his charity work, is simply remarkable.”
Alongside his personal career, he and his wife Alexis have supported many charitable and public sector causes becoming major benefactors across Merseyside, including Liverpool John Moores University, National Museums Liverpool and Alder Hey Hospital. Since selling Mersey Television in 2005, they have devoted almost all of their time to public service.
Phil Redmond said: “Like most from the city, there are few things that can render me speechless, but I can honestly say this one did.
“I’ve been fortunate to have led the life I have so far. I never forget that. To have met, worked with and built friendships with so many people on my journey has been reward in itself, but I never expected this.
“To be honoured in this way, by my home city is, well, beyond words. But emotionally, I am delighted, grateful and proud.”
He has recently turned to writing novels.