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Pirates star Orlando Bloom backs culture bid

Orlando Bloom Credit: PA

Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom has backed a bid by the area in Kent where he grew up to become the UK's next City of Culture in 2017.

Bloom, 36, star of the Lord Of The Rings and Pirates Of The Caribbean, said East Kent has a strong cultural reputation.

The heart-throb, who was born and raised in Canterbury, said some of his earliest memories were of being left "spellbound" by performers on the cathedral city's High Street.

Bloom said: "Born and raised in Canterbury, it was here that I first discovered my love for acting.

"One of my earliest memories is of being spellbound by performers I would pass on the High Street.

"Before long I was having a go myself as a four-year-old hopeful on the Marlowe Theatre stage.

"Like myself, many have found their inspiration here.

"East Kent has always had a strong reputation for cultural excellence, be it in the field of theatre or literature, the visual arts or dance, and developments over the last few years have only served to cement that relationship.

"Growing up in East Kent awakened my passion. I hope this bid can do the same for generations to come."

East Kent, which covers Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Thanet, is among 11 contenders which put their names forward to become the next UK City of Culture in 2017.

The others include Hastings and Bexhill on Sea, Southend-on-Sea and a joint application from Portsmouth and Southampton.

A shortlist will be announced in June. Londonderry was named the first UK City of Culture in 2010.