Marco Pierre White backs City of Culture bid

Mary HamiltonCelebrity chef Marco Pierre White has leant his support to Norwich's bid to be UK City of Culture in 2013 - and called on Delia Smith to get behind it too.Support Norwich on FacebookOfficial Norwich 2013 bid websiteMary Hamilton

Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White has leant his support to Norwich's bid to be UK City of Culture in 2013 - and called on Delia Smith to get behind it too.

The Hell's Kitchen star, who was the youngest chef ever to receive three Michelin stars, said he would like to see Norwich win the competition, which could bring in up to �200m for the city.

'I'm backing the City of Culture bid - Norwich have got to win,' he said.

'All those big prominent cities get everything, but there are a lot of cities in Britain that need to get recognition like this. Norwich is one of them and it could be an example to the others.

'It's a very gentle city, with great culture and great food - especially Delia, the queen of Norwich. She should put her weight behind it.

'When you think of food critics it's all about London but there is a lot of great food outside the capital. I have fond memories of a restaurant called Marco's in Norwich where I had some fantastic meals.

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'I love all the castle turrets and little walls hanging around the city. You can walk around a corner and find history staring you in the face.

'I reckon the big competition is Sheffield - you'll have to work hard to make sure you beat them.'

Local legend Stephen Fry has already backed the bid, along with writer and musician Amit Chaudhuri and countless individuals, organisations and businesses in Norwich and Norfolk.

The City of Culture competition was set up by the Labour government in the aftermath of the success Liverpool enjoyed as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

With UK cities effectively barred from winning the European title until 2022, the new competition offers cities the chance to host major events and benefit from national publicity and media coverage.

Norwich is on the final shortlist alongside Sheffield, Birmingham and Derry/Londonderry, and is the bookies' current favourite to win the bid at 6/4.

The bid team will submit their final documents at the end of May and will make a presentation to the judges before the final decision is made over the summer months.

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Support Norwich on FacebookOfficial Norwich 2013 bid website