DCMS blog

City of Culture – Jasper Carrott blogs for Birmingham

Birmingham – City of Culture? Well we’re already a Kity (Keep it to Yourself) of Culture and now I think it’s time we really did show people in this county just how good Birmingham really is.

View from Mclaren.jpgWe rightly deserve the title of UK City of Culture and I am backing the bid as a Brummie, born and bred who still lives around here and is proud of his city.
So why am I so proud to be a Brummie?

  • We have a multicultural and young city that would do the UK City of Culture title proud.

  • Birmingham is home to some great music – the reggae scene is massive and heavy metal music was born here and is now a global phenomenon.

  • The Moseley Folk festival is growing in national stature.

  • Great food, drink and clubs.

  • We have very creative people here in television, arts and culture – oh and some good comedians have come out of Brum too!

There’s a huge variety of live entertainment to enjoy, the Symphony Hall is one of the finest concert halls in the world and is home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the NIA and NEC attract the best in live music, there’s everything from popular to cutting edge theatre at the Alexandra and the REP, and the Hippodrome is home to the celebrated Birmingham Royal Ballet.
I still live around here and remember when many famous footballers back in the 1970s and 80s, who at the time were reluctant to relocate here – but now they and their families are firmly established here as they love the place so much.
Now, while I love this great city, I have to acknowledge there is still room for improvement and this title can help.
Ask the people of Liverpool how much they benefited from the European Capital of Culture title. There’s been a massive change in attitude towards their city from the old jokes about Liverpool and its people. It’s that level of change we need and I have no doubt this title can be far more effective than people realise.
There’s still the outdated image of Birmingham as industrial and grimy with a strange accent. But where else in the country has such a diverse population living together and sharing each other’s cultures?
Birmingham is a microcosm of the future but we’re still very Brummie and unique in how we do things.
We were once a city of a thousand trades – but now a city of a thousand cultures and hopefully the rest of the UK can help us celebrate that in 2013.

The UK City of Culture 2013 will be announced this evening.

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