Al Murray is urged to back Norwich ale festival

Organisers of a major new festival are hoping Al Murray, pictured, will be shouting 'let's hear it for the Norwich beer' and 'let's all hail the city's ale' when he visits later this year.

The popular TV pub landlord will be appearing at the Norwich Theatre Royal on April 17 for a show and those responsible for putting together Norwich's very first City of Ale Festival hope the larger-than-life character might help them promote it.

Phil Cutter, landlord of the Murderers pub and a member of the City of Ale Festival's steering group, said: 'I've emailed his management to see if he might support it by coming down and doing a couple of pictures. It would help increase the profile of the event.' He is just one of a number of high-profile personalities the group is looking at to help try to promote the event which will run from Thursday, May 26 until Sunday, June 5. Other names include Stephen Fry and Delia Smith.

A logo for the City of Ale Festival, which features the castle, was unveiled earlier this month and so far almost 40 pubs and breweries have already signed up to be involved. It is hoped the festival, which will complement Norwich's beer festival in October, will get bigger and better every year and help to make Norwich a world-renowned centre for real ale.

A launch party is being held at St Gregory's Church, St Gregory's Alley, off Pottergate, Norwich on Thursday, May 26.

Participating pubs are being urged to ensure they have plenty of events organised during the festival to make sure there is plenty on offer for visitors.

Dawn Leeder, co-chairman of the steering group, said: 'We want to present Norwich as a vibrant city so for anyone turning up there will be a big range of events.

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'We're trying to put together a very wide-ranging calendar of events and expect all the participating pubs to put on a number of events.' Organisers are still looking for a major sponsor for the festival and are hoping to announce news on this in the coming weeks.

A website,, has been set up to promote the event.

Landlords or brewers who want to find out more should call 07949 588207, email, or call 01603 621447. The next meeting will be at the Murderers on February 10 at 10am.

The Evening News is backing local pubs through its Love Your Local campaign – email