Council to honour Slumdog director

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle looks set to be awarded the freedom of the borough of his hometown.

The Slumdog Millionaire director is being considered for the civic honour by Bury Metropolitan Borough Council.

Boyle, 52, was raised in Radcliffe, Bury, in the north of Manchester.

His film Slumdog Millionaire won eight Oscars, including best director and best picture, at the 81st Academy Awards held in Los Angeles on Sunday.

The film is a rags-to-riches tale set in the slums of Mumbai and follows a poor slum dweller who competes in the television show Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

The director, whose other films include Shallow Grave and Trainspotting, is expected to show off his Oscar statuettes at the St Mary's Social Club in Radcliffe on Sunday.

His father Frank Boyle has been a regular there for many years.

A Bury Council spokeswoman said the freedom of the borough was only considered for "persons of distinction and those who have rendered eminent services to the borough".

The council is also proposing the honour for the band Elbow and the Paralympian Zoe Robinson, who also hail from Bury.

Elbow formed at Bury College in the mid 1990s and won the Mercury Prize last year and also best British group at the recent Brit awards.

Zoe Robinson, 19, won a gold medal as part of a four-strong British boccia team at the Beijing Olympics. She practices at a local leisure centre.

A Bury Council spokeswoman said: "The Freedom is the highest tribute that a Borough can bestow and although in modern times it is an honour only and does not confer any legal rights, Honorary Freemen are invariably invited to take part in all-important ceremonial occasions in the Borough.

"The proposals are currently being drawn up so that they can be put before a special meeting of Bury Council for approval."

Councillor Bob Bibby, leader of Bury Council, said: "Danny Boyle, Elbow's and Zoe Robinson's successes over the past 12 months have really put the borough of Bury on the map, both nationally and internationally.

"We are really proud of all of these individuals' outstanding achievements in their respective professions and by granting them Freedom of the Borough we want to acknowledge their hard work, determination and commitment and this is the council's way of congratulating them all on their recent successes".