Liverpool stars to help BBC Merseyside celebrate Freedom of City award

BBC Radio Merseyside’s 50 years of broadcasting is to be celebrated in a special show involving some of the city’s best-known talent and will include the presentation of the Freedom of the City award, Liverpool’s highest civic honour.

Frank Cottrell Boyce (author), Ricky Tomlinson (actor), Pauline Daniels (actor), Levi Tafari (poet), Pete Wylie (singer-songwriter) and Jennifer John (singer-songwriter) and will be joined by other local talent including presenters from Radio Merseyside and singers from Sing Me Merseyside Choir and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Girls’ Choir.

Ricky Tomlinson

The show, called ‘An accent exceedingly rare: A Love Letter to Liverpool’, will be an uplifting performance of music, drama, poetry and comedy and will be staged at St George’s Hall in Liverpool city centre. Written and produced by Pauline McAdam, assistant editor at Radio Merseyside who was also the creative director behind the award-winning ‘Merseyside Blitz: An Unconquered People’, it will tell the people’s story of the radio station over the last five decades in a unique way.

As part of the live performance, an audience of 350 people will be able to witness BBC Radio Merseyside being admitted to the Freedom Roll of Associations and Institutions and presented with a Freedom Scroll by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Malcom Kennedy. BBC Radio Merseyside is being granted Freedom of the City for its service to the community, its relationship with its listeners, its charitable work and its longevity.

St George’s Hall will host the evening

Sue Owen, Managing Editor of Radio Merseyside, will accept the accolade on behalf of the radio station at the ceremony. She commented: “The Freedom of the City award is a great honour for Radio Merseyside but we feel it is very much the peoples’ award as it is very much for them as it for us. We are very fortunate to be able to tell our listeners’ stories and for the amazing support they have given us over the years. We are immensely proud of this award and it is a wonderful way to commemorate 50 years of broadcasting to the people of Merseyside.”

Jennifer John.
Pic credit Rivercool

Lord Mayor, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said: “Radio Merseyside is part of the fabric of Liverpool, and entire generations of families have heard it reflect both the humour and sorrow of the city, giving it a voice during both good times, and bad.

“It reflects the passion of the people of Liverpool and it has an innate ability to understand the city’s mood and convey it on air.

“It is a lifeline to many people – a regular and trusted companion that keeps them company at home, work or in the car.

“At a time when there is so much choice and competition on the radio dial, the huge audience which Radio Merseyside continues to command is testament to its popularity and continued relevance to the people of Liverpool and the wider region.”

Tickets to the special performance at St George’s Hall on March 14 will be available from mid-February and listeners should listen for details to be announced on air in the forthcoming days. There is a suggested donation to BBC Children In Need of £10 per ticket.  ‘An accent exceedingly rare: A Love Letter to Liverpool’ will be broadcast on BBC Radio Merseyside over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

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