Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre is thrilled to announce that actor James Norton has agreed to become its patron.

The star of Happy Valley, McMafia and Grantchester grew up in Malton, just 20 miles from Scarborough, and came to the SJT on work experience when he was 15, which he has always credited with kickstarting his interest in theatre.

He says: “I’ve always remembered my time at the SJT fondly, so I’m delighted to be able to add my name to the illustrious roll call of people associated with it. It’s a beacon of excellence in my home county.”

Paul Robinson, Artistic Director at the SJT, says: “James has always been remarkably generous in crediting the SJT as such an influence on his career, so when we started talking about a patron, he was our obvious first choice.”

Helen Boaden, the chair of Scarborough Theatre Trust, which runs the SJT, says: “We are delighted and very proud that James Norton has agreed to be our patron. It’s a testament to the respect, loyalty and affection which the SJT commands across the UK theatre industry. Welcome, James!”