Isle of Wight honours Oscar-winner Minghella

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Anthony Minghella, who won an Oscar for directing the film The English Patient, is to be made an Honorary Freeman of the Isle of Wight at a ceremony next week.

When Mr Minghella, 43, who was born and grew up on the island, accepted the Oscar in March, he famously declared to the Hollywood audience: "It's a great day for the Isle of Wight!"

Now the island is to repay Minghella, pictured at the Oscar ceremony in Hollywood with Ralph Fiennes, star of The English Patient, for the free publicity.

At a ceremony in the council chamber on Friday, to be attended by members of his family, he will be presented with an illuminated scroll.

It is the first time that the Isle of Wight Council, which was established as a unitary authority in 1995, has bestowed the honour. - Ian Burrell