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News: Customs House Academy Welcomes New Honorary Fellows


The Customs House Academy Welcomes New Honorary Fellows

The Customs House Academy, launched to mark the 150th anniversary of the building’s opening, recognises and honours the achievements of exceptional individuals who have made a major contribution to the world of arts and entertainment and have a significant connection with South Tyneside.

On Sunday, 19th June, The Customs House Academy will welcome Janis Blower and Jeff Brown  to become Honorary Fellows. Janis is an author and journalist, whose contribution  to the Shields Gazette over 40 years won many awards; her Cookson Country collection can be found in expat homes around the world. Jeff who after a career in journalism, joined the sports team at Tyne Tees TV before moving to BBC Look North as sports presenter, before becoming the regular anchor for the show; his play ‘Cornered’ tells the story of David Corner and the aftermath of the “Friendly” league cup final. The afternoon will be hosted by the Voice of North East News, Stephanie Finnon from BBC Radio Newcastle.  

Ray Spencer, Executive Director explained: “Jeff & Janis are both Legends in their own fields and have that rare gift in modern journalism that they are loved and trusted by the communities they serve”

Jeff & Janis join a very exclusive club of Honorary Fellows that includes Sarah Millican, Jason Cook, Chris & Rosie Ramsay, Jade Thirlwall, Joe McElderry, Nadine Shah, Jamie Lambert, Encore, Ann-Marie Owens, John Woodvine, John Hays, Tom Kelly, John Miles, Andy Bogle, Lindsay Kemp, Sheila Graber, Bob Olley, Alex Ferguson, Richard Ord, George Iriving, Sandford Goudie and Nigel Begg.

Tickets for the event are priced at £25 each can be purchased by calling 0191 454 1234 (Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 3pm) or online at 

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