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Homecoming for top Harrogate actor

Harrogate actor Andrew Scarborough of Emmerdale and Downton Abbey fame - and a lot more.
Harrogate actor Andrew Scarborough of Emmerdale and Downton Abbey fame - and a lot more.

Actor Andrew Scarborough may admit to being a bit of a “naughty boy” as a schoolboy in Harrogate but he hasn’t half done well on it.

His last public appearance was with fellow Emmerdale stars in the national TV Soap Awards when he was nominated as Best Newcomer in the complex role of Graham Foster.

But this weekend will see Harrogate-born Andrew adopting a new persona at Harrogate Cricket Club ground, one which requires him to dress purely in white.

Andrew, 45, said: “I’ve lived in south London for the last 20 years but it’s good to be coming back home.

“I was happy at Harrogate Grammar School but I was a naughty boy I suppose. I liked sport and played a lot of rugby and cricket.
"It's great to be playing back at my home town, on a pitch where I last played when I was 12-years-old. Which, by the way, is the last time I played...ever. Not that I'm making excuses!
"I’m looking forward to having some fun on Sunday afternoon. And it’s in a very good cause for Bloodwise charity.”

Taking to the crease with fellow Emmerdale stars in the annual charity match as part of Northern Aldborough Festival, it’s a rare break from serious work for an actor who started in am-dram on the boards at Harrogate Theatre 25 years ago while working in the town’s famous Blues Bar but whose CV since then has been a little short of jam-packed.

Downtown Abbey, Spooks, Casualty, Rome, Silent Witness…amongst many significant roles, one of his early breakthroughs after leaving Harrogate in the mid-1990s was BBC drama Hearts & Bones alongside the likes of Damien Lewis, Sarah Parish, Amanda Holden, Michael Fassbender and fellow Harrogate actor Hugo Speer of The Full Monty fame.

Mention of the latter brings forth come choice memories of the two of them in their early years in Harrogate.

Andrew said: “I’ve known Hugo since I was five-years-old. I remember when we were little he tried to chat my sister up in a Wendy House!”

The Northern Aldborough XI has been put together by festival director, Robert Ogden and the Emmerdale team will be led by Matthew Wolfenden who plays the character David Metcalfe.
Other recognised faces from ITV’s award winning soap include Chris Chittell who plays Eric Pollard.

Families and spectators are being encouraged to come and join the fun, bring a picnic and spectate.
Attendance is free but the public are being invited to register their attendance at www.alboroughfestival.co.uk.

Donation buckets will be located around the cricket ground and the public will be encouraged to donate generously with all proceeds going to Bloodwise, the blood cancer research charity.

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For those wanting to watch the World Cup football in the afternoon, the clubhouse will be open from lunchtime onwards serving a wide selection of food and drink whilst screening the England match.

Festivall Cricket Match, Emmerdale XI v Northern Aldborough Festival VI, County Cricket Ground, Harrogate, Sunday, June 24, 4pm.

The Northern Aldborough Festival will take place between 21-30 June and features ten days of concerts and performances.