LEADING local figures in the entertainment industry have been honoured in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.

The spotlight fell on Nicola Shindler ­— the founder of Red Production Company ­— from Whitefield, who has been awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting and Richard Searling from Ainsworth.

Richard, aged 66, has been recognised with a British Empire Medal for services to the soul music industry and the community in the North of England.

A passion for Northern Soul, Richard began his musical journey as a DJ at Northern Soul all nighters in 1973 and now is a radio broadcaster. He organises the biggest annual international soul event held in Blackpool, and was an executive producer on the BAFTa-nominated film Northern Soul.

“It’s an incredible feeling, it’s lovely to be recognised for a hobby from which I have made a living out of.“It is good for the community for which we have managed to find American artists to perform in the North West.”

Richard believes Northern Soul will stand the test of time and last year wrote a book Setting the Record Straight, documenting the scene.

Nicola's production company has made TV shows like Happy Valley, Queer As Folk and Scott And Bailey.