All Together Now! The 08 Announcement

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Have to say, Phil Redmond did a great job today. He was casual, no suit or tie – hurrah, he even looked scruffier than me, relaxed, confident, honest, humorous and, yes, scouse!

He was honest about all the troubles, arguments, cancellations etc. and cleverly turned this into a positive thing by pointing out that this is how things work in Liverpool. Its like yer typical scouse wedding or the scouse debating society which always meets out on the pavement. But in the end we get things done in our own unique way and we all have a great time.

Ringo Starr was obviously delighted to be involved, he keeps complaining about being the forgotten one. Paul McCartney on the other hand is getting more serious and statesman-like in his old age, his hair has gone really funny though – a bad side effect of vanity sadly.

The creative team, represented by Fiona Gasper and Claire McColgan received lengthy applause after a quick fly-through of the highlighted events. Quite right too, as they’re probably the only people who’ve stuck at the job from the early days while so many around them have quit for various reasons.

Regeneration and Rebirth were mentioned several times as well as the dreaded L word (Legacy of course). There’s an emphasis on Youth, increased engagement with communities and a strengthened infrastructure.

The actual programme is fantastic. Of course, always knew it would be, never in doubt. Its going to a great year. In fact its been great for quite a while now, Liverpool has already done far more in the lead up to 2008 than any other capital of culture has done during their culture year.
Albert Dock was buzzing with the World’s media today, its going to be like this for the next 18 months. I’ll be exhausted and it will all go by in a flash then the theme for Liverpool in 2009 is the Environment. Bring it on.

Todays launch event closed with the rousing chorus from the Farm’s ‘All Together Now‘ which seemed quite appropriate.