ILKLEY Pride & Diversity Group and their sister organisation Keighley Pride are proud to announce that the award-winning LGBT playwright and author Alan Bennett will become their first patron.

Alan, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday has received numerous awards and honours throughout his career including two BAFTA Awards, four Laurence Olivier Awards, and two Tony Awards. He also earned an Academy Award nomination for his film The Madness of King George and in 2005 Alan received the Society of London Theatre Special Award.

Speaking about the upcoming pride month of June, Alan said: “What I would hope for is that one day sexuality will be taken for granted and be of no more consequence or interest than the colour of one’s eyes.”

A spokesperson for Ilkley Pride & Diversity Group said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Alan Bennett has agreed to support Pride in our local area. As society continues to increase their understanding of, and tolerance towards the LGBT+ community we believe we are gradually getting closer to achieving Alan’s vision of a world where sexuality and gender identity is no longer of any consequence.”

David Shaw MBE, Chair of Keighley Pride, said: “Being endorsed by someone like Alan is fantastic for our group. We’re only a small committee of volunteers and we work so hard to put on a fantastic event that’s open to all. Alan’s support means a lot to us and we hope this provides the encouragement people need to engage and work with Pride organisations to help reduce intolerance, helping us build a better community.”

Tickets for this year’s Ilkley Pride are on sale now through Eventbrite.