An actor who grew up in Whitley Bay is to receive an MBE at the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Gordon Griffin, who has recorded almost 800 audiobooks throughout his career, has been awarded the honour for services to audiobooks and charity.
He told News Guardian that he was ‘absolutely astonished’ when he first discovered the news.
He said: “People have said to me ‘you’re the sort of person who should have one’ but I never believed them. When I first read the letter I just could not believe it. I even got my friend to read it out as well.
“When I began recording audiobooks it was looked down upon by other actors, so I am pleased not just for myself but for the industry that has come such a long way.”
Gordon, whose other feats include speaking the first line on the first episode of Byker Grove and telling people to ‘mind the gap, please’ every day on the London Underground, spent his childhood in Whitley Bay where his mother kept a successful guest house.
He said the town is ‘a huge part’ of his life.
“Living in Whitley Bay in the 50s was like one long holiday in itself,” he added. “I have a huge association there and I think of it very fondly.”