Dame Joanna Lumley Thinks Dumfries City Status Bid Is Absolutely Fabulous!

National treasure and award-winning actress Dame Joanna Lumley is giving her backing to Dumfries being crowned the UK’s newest city.

The double Bafta-winning actress, who has a home in the area, is supporting the formal ‘Queen of the South’ city bid.

Dame Joanna, who was given the honour in the 2022 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List and has also written a book on the Queen as she celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, is hoping Dumfries will be selected as Scotland’s first rural city.

The actress, who played Patsy Stone in BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, has lent her support to the campaign for the town to become the first city in the south of Scotland.

Dame Joanna said: “Dumfries stole my heart from the first time I wandered in its once-grand, proud streets, and leaned on the bridge and watched the Nith shimmer by. Queen of the South in every way, but maybe now in need of a new ennoblement.
“If she became a city, it would be like crowning her again. She deserves a new burst of pride and energy, and public recognition of all she has survived and achieved.
“Making her the City of Dumfries would be like toasting her and the beautiful countryside surrounding her in champagne. She deserves a curtain call and a bouquet, because she is modest and brave and entirely worthy of such an honour. It would be absolutely fabulous.”

Dumfries was home to Scotland’s Bard, Robert Burns. The poet wrote Auld Lang Syne while at Ellisland Farm, six miles north of the town, in 1788.

Dumfries also inspired JM Barrie to write Peter Pan. Barrie played in the house and garden of Moat Brae as a child while at school at the adjacent Dumfries Academy.

Joanna Lumley unveiled a statue of Peter Pan in Dumfries, erected by the People’s Project Charity, in 2011.

Superstar DJ Calvin Harris was born and brought up in Dumfries, while former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard, actor Sam Heughan of Outlander fame, and Extras actress Ashley Jensen, also grew up in the area.

BBC Scotland TV and radio presenter Stephen Jardine is also backing the bid.

He said: “From its rich history to its fascinating architecture and vibrant arts and music scene, Dumfries, the capital of south-west Scotland, ticks all the boxes when it comes to what we expect from a city.”

Dumfries Provost Tracey Little submitted the town’s formal bid for city status in December as part of the Queen’s 2022 Civic Honours competition.

She was joined by excited youngsters from Georgetown Nursery in sending a gold envelope marked ‘Queen of the South’ to Her Majesty the Queen.

The Dumfries bid is supported by local charities, businesses, schools, community groups and organisations across the area, including DGHP.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Civic Awards will announce the successful cities in the spring.

Eight different parts of Scotland are in the running to be granted city status.

Dumfries, Dunfermline, Elgin, Greenock, Livingston, Oban, St Andrews and South Ayrshire have all submitted bids.

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