1. ITV Report

UK City of Culture 2017: Danny Wallace believes Dundee is an exciting new player on the world stage

Danny Wallace was born in Dundee. Photo: John Phillips/EMPICS Entertainment

The winner of the UK City of Culture 2017 is set to be announced with Dundee, Hull, Leicester and Swansea Bay all up for the prestigious award.

The Government created the award after Liverpool's highly successful stint as the European Capital of Culture in 2008.

In an article for ITV News, radio presenter, comedian, filmmaker and actor Danny Wallace, who was born in Dundee, explains why his hometown should succeed Londonderry as the UK's City of Culture.

Danny Wallace makes the case for Dundee to be named the UK's City of Culture 2017. Credit: Dundee City Council

There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that Dundee should be named the UK’s City of Culture 2017.

I grew up there in the late 70s and early 80s. For me, the views of Dundee make up my earliest memories: the sparkling River Tay, the grand bridge stretching across it, the seals lying on the sandbanks when the tide is out…

The River Tay is the longest river in Scotland. Credit: Dundee City Council

Jute, Jam and Journalism – that’s what Dundee’s traditionally known for.

But culturally, the city has shown a very modern Dundonian determination to become an exciting new player on the world stage.

The Victoria & Albert is due to open a £45 million branch down on the docks. The Dundee Rep is already known up and down the land and its reputation grows with each year.

The reputation of the Dundee Repertory Theatre is growing every year. Credit: Dundee City Council

In the next fifteen years, the Waterfront will be completely redeveloped, and the city’s independent video games developers like Rockstar North will continue to push forward in a cultural field now worth more than the movie industry.

And Dundee already holds a vital cultural place in the hearts of all Britons: it’s home to the Beano and the Dandy. Not just comics, but national institutions adored by generations for more than 75 years.

Dundee is the home city of The Beano and a statue of Desperate Dan is in the city centre. Credit: Dundee City Council

For a kid, that was monumentally exciting - that genuinely iconic British characters had been created and continue to be created in sunny Dundee.

Apart from that, two football teams unite the city and give it something to bicker about. You can walk from Captain Scott’s RRS Discovery, right there on the quay, to ‘climb the Law’ and take in the view.

Captain Scott’s RRS Discovery. Credit: Dundee City Council

There’s the observatory. The Botanic Garden. Dundee’s ready to welcome the world.

A surprise for me was one day to realise that Dundee is often the butt of many jokes north of the border. It’s a punchline. A go-to shorthand used by lazy comedians. Dundonians, though, take it on the chin: they’re a hardy, witty bunch.

But those jokes are just another reason why it’s even more important we help this city reinvent its reputation and bolster what’s so loved about Dundee.

I mean - it’s even got dragons on its coat-of-arms. And what’s not to love about that?

Dundee City Centre. Credit: Dundee City Council

Danny Wallace's views do not necessarily reflect those of ITV News.

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