MILLIONS of people across America will join in with the launch of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations as one of their biggest television networks hosts a live programme from the city.
CBS will host a two-hour breakfast show live from Liverpool to its American viewers on January 11, to tie in with Ringo Starr’s concert and album launch in his home town.
The network is the first of an expected influx of international media to be touching down in the city to cover the start of the 2008 events.
Last night, Liverpool Culture Company said that it is time for the public to “forget the negative” in the weeks before the start of 2008.
Ringo will appear on top of St George’s Hall in the People’s Opening on the opening night’s celebrations on Friday, January 11. The two-hour CBS show, featuring the former Beatle, will be broadcast from 12 noon UK time.
Culture Company deputy chairman Phil Redmond told the Daily Post: “We haven’t 100% nailed it down yet.
“We are just working out now the exact location. But it is definitely going to happen – and it’s thanks to Ringo, as it is all sort of tied in with Ringo launching his new album and single on that weekend.
“We have all sorts of love and adoration for Macca, but Ringo’s got his own following, too. We’re in the advance stages of working everything out but have to bear in mind he has to get ready for his show in the evening, so we need to work out how to get him to the best location. It would probably be across at Seacombe to see the city behind him.
“CBS’ breakfast show must have around 20-30m viewers, but they will have their own media and it will be in magazines and newspapers, so up to 100m people in America could see the show.”
Style magazine Paris Match has also registered an interest with the Culture Company, he said.
Mr Redmond added: “The word is getting out. Most of the international and European press has shown an interest, and we just want to keep that going and keep the message out there that, despite what’s gone on in the past, there have been things going on behind the scenes.
“The MTV awards are the result of three years’ work, and more and more things like that are falling into place – it’s time to forget the negative and be more positive.”
America has long been a market that Liverpool, and the Merseyside region, has been keen to raise its profile in.
The visit of Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, in 2005, was described as good for promoting the city to America.
Last summer, budget airline Flyglobespan launched a daily flight between Liverpool and New York, but it stopped in October due to poor passenger numbers. Both Flyglobespan and JLA hope the flights will resume, and additional interest in Liverpool from America might help that.
After the People’s Opening, Ringo will take part in the Liverpool the Musical concert the next day, January 12, at the new Echo Arena Liver- pool, alongside acts includ- ing Dave Stewart and Ian Broudie, of the Lightning Seeds. Ringo is using the weekend to launch his new solo album, Liverpool 8.
Liverpool Daily Post and Echo