Canterbury-born actor Orlando Bloom backs east Kent's bid for UK City of Culture
Hollywood heartthrob Orlando Bloom has today added a touch of
star appeal to east Kent's campaign to become UK City of Culture in
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor - born and raised
in Canterbury - has thrown his weight behind the bid along
with Kent-based stars Paul O'Grady and Jools Holland.
The 36-year-old, also known for his roles in The Lord of the
Rings, first caught the acting bug at The Marlowe Theatre in
Bloom, pictured right, said today: "East Kent's bid to
become UK City of Culture 2017 is the next stage in its creative
journey – and it's one I'm delighted to support.
"Born and raised in Canterbury, it was here that I first
discovered my love for acting. One of my earliest memories is of
being spellbound by performers I would pass on the High Street –
before long I was having a go myself as a four-year-old hopeful on
the Marlowe Theatre stage. Like myself, many have found their
"East Kent has always had a strong reputation for cultural
excellence – be it in the field of theatre or literature, the
visual arts or dance – and developments over the last few years
have only served to cement that relationship. Growing up in East
Kent awakened my passion – I hope this bid can do the same for
generations to come."
The area of East Kent is competing against 10 others across the
UK for the title in a competition organised by the government.
But Kent's bid stretches beyond a city - to include Canterbury,
Ashford, Dover, Folkestone and Thanet.
Comedian Paul O'Grady,
who lives near Ashford, is backing the bid
It will compete against Aberdeen, Chester, Dundee, Hastings and
Bexhill-on- Sea, Hull, Leicester, Plymouth, Portsmouth and
Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, and Swansea Bay for the prestigious
The bid is building momentum, with a growing army of
supporters from across the region including Canterbury's Marlowe
Theatre and Margate's Turner Contemporary, ahead of the first
phase of the application next week.
Presenter and comedian Paul O'Grady, who lives in Aldington near
Ashford, said the bid will "draw attention to the amazing things
that we have on offer here, including world-class galleries,
fantastic theatres and some of the country's best-loved and most
Support was also given by pianist Jools Holland, who lives
in Cooling and is Deputy Lieutenant for Kent and patron
of Kent Music.
Pianist Jools Holland is
patron of Kent Music
And BAFTA award-winning director Dominic Savage – creator of
Margate-set TV series True Love – was joined by author and former
Children's Laureate Anthony Browne in backing to the bid.
Mr Savage said: "I have always had a particularly emotional
connection with east Kent. Born and bred in Margate, the
surrounding area continues to surprise, inspire and move me – and
will always have an important place in my heart, and in my
And Mr Browne said: "East Kent is, in many ways, the land of the
storyteller – a spiritual home for pilgrims, poets, playwrights and
authors. Poised at our island's edge and central to our connection
with the outside world, it has long been a source of inspiration to
artists and dreamers."
Their support comes after
the backing of acclaimed designer Wayne Hemingway and
award-winning architect Sir David Chipperfield.
Entrants have until Tuesday to submit their initial bids, which
will be considered by an independent advisory panel before a
shortlist is announced in June.
If successful, a range of cultural events would be held across
east Kent in 2017 - falling under the banners of "movement",
"innovation" and "collaboration".
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