Me & Will Gompertz riffing on Hull




If you click on the above link you will hear BBC arts editor Will Gompertz on his new Five Live arts show Heat Map, during which he invited people to discuss the City of Culture….it gets quite heated and the notion of Gompertz drawing attention to a crisp packet outside St Paul’s is mentioned.

Lively though, which is what arts chat should ALWAYS be, it was a pleasure to be asked on. And no, I’m not going to be taking my clothes off for Spencer Tunick, as the subsequent coverage in the Hull Daily Mail explains….

Hull is fantastic, engaging and radical’ – Rosie Millard

By Hull Daily Mail  |  Posted: April 04, 2016

THE chairwoman of Hull 2017 has spoken passionately on national radio about what makes the city so special.

When Will Gompertz’s asked “what would make you go to Hull?” on his BBC 5 Live show last night, Rosie Millard, chair of Hull City of Culture 2017, was not stumped for words.

The writer, broadcaster and all round Hull ambassador spoke with complete zest about the city she studied in almost 30 years ago.

She told Gompertz: “Hull has won the honour not least because it has a fantastic, engaging, radical culture of its own.

“Once you’re there, the sheer physical geography of the place is amazing. The Humber estuary is astonishing, the Humber Bridge is astonishing, the city itself is beautiful, it’s so unlike any other city that you could ever go to in Britain – you’ll be knocked out!”

Ms Millard boasted proudly about the city’s architecture and stuck up for the city when Mr Gompertz’s commented on ‘street furniture’ imposing on his view of Holy Trinity Church.

“You’ve stood outside one of the most beautiful churches in this country, which is an exquisite piece of perpendicular… honestly, you pointed to a weed in the ground,” she said.

“It’s like going to St Paul’s Cathedral and saying, “oh look there’s a crisp packet”.

And it isn’t just Ms Millard who is championing the city so passionately. Her children have caught the infectious enthusiasm for the place too.

She told Gompertz that, when asked to describe Hull her children used the words: “Independent”, “radical”, “edgy”, “dangerous” and celebrated the fact it “doesn’t take itself too seriously”.

As well as vigorously defending her adopted city, the 50-year-old also hinted about what else the city can expect in 2017 – including a “remarkable” event at Hull University.

Responding to Gompertz’s idea of all major museums loaning one of the great artworks they hold each to Hull for the year, Rosie said: “Your idea of bringing the great works of art across the country to show in Hull is a noble ambition but actually it’s not quite, well, there is going to be an amazing show at the university which I cannot say much about – it’s going to be a remarkable piece of renaissance glory.”

And when pressed on whether she would be getting her kit off for Spencer’s Tunick’s ‘Sea of Hull’, a major piece of artwork made up of thousands of naked people, she quickly responded: “No, no, no, I’ll just be there – I’m the chair!”

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