North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2020



Barry Cryer will go back to school to celebrate luminary Leodensians

Friday 26 October 2018

Comedian Barry Cryer is set to return to his former school for an occasion honouring those, who like him, have achieved highly in their chosen career after an education at Leeds’ oldest school.

Although The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) is just a decade old, it was created by the merger of Leeds Grammar School, founded in 1552, and Leeds Girls’ High School, founded in 1876. GSAL is celebrating the alumni of all three schools during the school’s 10th birthday year in 2018.

Barry, who left Leeds Grammar School in 1953, will be the guest of honour at the inaugural Leeds Luminaries awards, which honour high-achieving alumni of his old school as well as Leeds Girls’ High School and GSAL. He will present the awards and entertain guests with a look back at his upbringing in Leeds and how this influenced his humour.

GSAL Principal Sue Woodroofe said: “We owe much to the heritage of our founder schools and we are delighted that Barry will be joining us in celebrating our high-flying alumni. The awards recognise alumni whose achievements embody the school’s core values of excellence, inspiration and citizenship.”

There are award categories for five different walks of life, as well as rising star and lifetime achievement awards, with nominees who have made their names at home and internationally.

Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, cyber security expert, is nominated in the lifetime achievement category, as is Lord John Dyson, former Master of the Rolls. Serial entrepreneur Debbie Wosskow OBE is nominated in the business and enterprise category.

Leeds Olympians Gordon Benson (Team GB triathlete) and Yona Knight-Wisdom (Jamaican diver) are among the sports nominees, alongside England netball player Lucy Harris. Another of Leeds’ sporting heroes, Gareth Dunn, is nominated in the charity and community category for raising over £100K for Cancer Research UK through a series of physical challenges following his own terminal diagnosis.

Barry Cryer will present the awards at a gala dinner at The Grammar School at Leeds on Saturday 17 November at 18:30. Tickets are £50, to include a three course dinner and drinks, and can be purchased online.

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