A THEATRE'S longest serving member of staff said he felt 'touched' to have been recognised as an unsung hero.

He has worked behind the scenes in theatre all his working life and is an expert at staging shows.

Now Theatr Clwyd’s Pat Nelder has been recognised by the entertainment industry with a national unsung hero award.

The annual Stage awards celebrate the best performing theatres and theatre makers throughout the UK.

The Unsung Hero accolade, introduced last year, honours those who work behind the scenes ‘to make the theatergoing experience the best it can possibly be’.

Mr Nelder received the award at a glittering ceremony at London’s Bridge Theatre on Friday.

Speaking after the presentation he said: “I feel so touched to have been nominated for this award by so many friends and colleagues.

"Winning it is amazing, especially as there are so many Unsung Heroes, both in the theatre and in all walks of life.

"In accepting the award, I particularly mentioned all those unsung heroes who, 45 years ago, had the vision, skill and expertise to design and build, in a small market town in North Wales, a theatre with the potential to develop into the place of regional and national significance that it is today.”

Mr Nelder is Theatr Clwyd’s longest serving member of staff.

He began as a junior technician at the Flintshire theatre shortly after it was opened in the late 1970s and, having been a lighting designer and stage electrician, rose through the production department before moving into building services, administration and senior management positions.

He is currently capital development associate, using his unique expertise to manage a feasibility study into the redevelopment of the building.

Artistic director Tamara Harvey and Theatr Clwyd’s executive director Liam Evans-Ford said: “It is a perfect thing that Pat Nelder has been named Unsung Hero.

"He has been a mainstay of our company for over 40 years and continues to bring his unrivalled knowledge and experience to every area of our work.

"Pat knows the hidden corners and history of our building better than anyone and still, after so many years, has the same enthusiasm, commitment and dedication as the day he arrived.

"He is truly loved and valued by everyone who works in the building and by our local communities.

"It is entirely appropriate that, as the culmination of his career, he is bringing his wisdom and expertise to our capital redevelopment as we step towards reimagining our building to ensure its use for future generations."