Could Cheryl sell Hull PLC?

Cheryl Cole

Published: Thursday 9th October 2014 by Paul Nickerson - Writer

Comments (4)

With so many of our icons representing us from beyond the grave, does Hull need a celebrity to help sell our brand across the UK?

Could we be more proud? City of Culture, Siemens and the premier league? It couldn’t be going better could it.

Confidence is high. But could inward investment ever dry up and the press once again label us one of the worst places to live in Britain?

People have worked hard to get us here. But knife-edge investment decisions by foreign companies shows us that prosperity can be fickle. Westminster politicians talk about UK PLC; our economic brand around the world. But what about Hull? What does our brand look like to the rest of the UK? The events of 2017, our progress in renewables and our slaying of premiership giants will hopefully demonstrate exactly what we’re made of.

This summer’s Freedom Festival was a success. But the event’s gradual move away from star headliners in favour of home-grown acts means it gets almost zero attention from the national press.  The city has lost whatever chance it had of being home to a national festival like Leeds or Reading. Maybe that doesn’t matter, a good time was had by all.  But once the city of culture has come and gone, won’t we need a steady stream of positive publicity to make sure the decision makers and tourists around the country keep Hull front of mind?

Compare us for a second to Tyneside. I say Tyneside because even though its industrial hey-day is behind it, and its football team is floundering the people of that great region have stuck together through good times and bad. Like us, the Geordies are famous for their warmth and kindness to strangers. Companies and call centre giants have flocked there to cash in on the local workforce energised by the regeneration of the 90s. Culturally they have done well too, successfully hosting the 2011 Turner Prize and of course being selected as a host city for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Last year Newcastle reported bumper economic figures as it recovered from recession faster than any city north of Birmingham. So how are they doing it?

Isn’t it obvious? It’s all down to Cheryl Cole. Please stay with me.

Cheryl Cole or rather Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, as well as making a reported £14 million has made it her business to be a national ambassador for her hometown.

You cannot watch an episode of this year’s X-factor, to which she has returned after a four year break, without Cheryl plugging the virtues of her hometown to over ten million people across the UK every single week.

It’s even rumoured she insisted producers visit the area in the preliminary rounds as a condition of her re-joining the show.

William Wilberforce.

Wilberforce: We ask too much of him in the modern age.

Off-camera, the former Girls Aloud star has set up the Cheryl Cole Foundation to help disadvantaged youngsters around Tyneside. In 2012 she appeared on TV with Prince Charles on whose Princes Trust her organisation is modelled.

If you follow the happenings of Cheryl, Louie, Mel B and Simon Cowell you might have noticed the publicity stunt she organised to take them and practically every newspaper, magazine and TV crew in Britain to her local Chinese takeaway in the suburb of Heaton. Apparently, she told the assembled the paparazzi, that this is where she used to order her food before she was famous.

Could Hull benefit from this type of national publicity? We are certainly fond of keeping our feet on the ground and remembering where we came from.

Hull's living icons. John Godber, Alan Johnson MP & Lord Prescott

Hull’s living icons. John Godber, Alan Johnson MP & Lord Prescott

Hull does have some powerful ambassadors. Larkin’s voice echoes around our city and hist statue adorns the train station. His words inspired our city of culture video. And there are others to help him. The trouble is so many of them are dead. Wilberforce has fuelled our pride down the centuries and shown us what humanity can do. His legacy perfectly draws the backdrop for the type of place Hull truly is. But we ask too much of him in the modern age. We need to open up other channels to broadcast our message out past the Humber bridge and beyond. To enjoy a wider success Hull must address a wider audience.

This city has some excellent living icons. Countless musicians, the brilliant playwright John Godber,  former Home Secretary Alan Johnson, the unforgettable John Prescott and others.

It might seem simplistic to think that a more famous celebrity is all we need to keep Hull PLC in business. But it wouldn’t hurt.

So, who will it be?

Related Video

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and her group of X-Factor ladies have been spotted out and about around London. The hopeful finalists including, Chloe Jasmin, Stephanie Nala and Lauren Platt were snapped as they left the X Factor house, where they’re all currently living, to attend a BBC radio one appearance

Cheryl – Cheryl And Her X-Factor Girls Head Out To Radio One on MUZU.TV.

Published: Thursday 9th October 2014 by Paul Nickerson - Writer

Comments (4)
  • Fiona Chatwin

    NO THANKS! We need a Hull person to promote our beautiful City eg Maureen Lipman, Paul Heaton, John Alderton. Not a blooming geordie, thankyou!!

    • Rob

      You totally missed the point of the article. They weren’t even suggesting that, they just used her as an example of how she roots for her town and helps it grow.

  • Lordelpus

    Whoever suggested this is really scraping the barrel. It will give th eimpression that the city is populated by money grabbing, second rate warblers!

  • Philip Coggin

    This beautiful lady could sell me sand if I was an arab but sorry to say we need someone other than her to sell our fair city.
    Kingston-upon-Hull is far too much of an important city to use such a lady but there are many who could easily take on the task, all you have to do is find an opposite to Boris Johnson the London mayor and in Hull there are many to choose from.

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