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The Laz Word

Larry Neild tries to figure out the great 08 numbers game

Published on March 13th 2008.

The Laz Word

BINGO! Just over a fifth of the way through our Culture year and it's started already. The number's game has arrived, and guess what, you'd better get used to it. There will be more and more and more games throughout the year, force-fed down our throats with a dollop of civic syrup.

Some say that many of the long-established events in the city have been hijacked by CoC. Now they are bagging the whole tally of attendees as their very own. It just won’t wash.

Figures released by the Liverpool Cultural Company say that - thanks to them - more than a million people have turned up at 08 events since the start of the year, and by December the number will be at least 10 million. It won't: it will be 12 million, or 15 million. OK, let's round it up to 20 million.

With millions of pounds desperately being sought to pay the huge wages bill of the Culture Company, let alone the costs of paying for expensive artists and artistes, we have to be convinced that the feel good factor permeates the Liverpool air.

Well you can smell it for miles, and I’m afraid there is a bit of a pong in the air. OK, let's put our cards on the table. I went to St George's for the free gig and it was, well, good. Could have gone on a bit longer, but it did the job. Well done Jayne Casey and co. The next night at the new arena was tremendous. I loved every minute, especially the fab RLPO who stole the show. Some moaned that the show went a bit flat in the middle, but I gave it ten out of ten. Very, very well done Jayne C and co.

Then they - the Culture Co - went and spoiled it by releasing figures to show just how well they were performing, and we are just weeks into 08.

“NOW THAT'S CULTURE - You smash the 1m barrier”, screamed the headline on an Echo exclusive. The Squire of Cheshire, Professor Sir Phil Brookside-Hollyoaks, beamed in a comment: “It’s very exciting and I think it will only gather pace. I think 10m would be a pretty conservative final figure.” You bet Prof, there’s no way we are not gonna hit double digits.

So let’s do a little bit of old fashioned arithmetic. The Culture Company say 325,000 have visited National Museums Liverpool. Would the NML venues been deserted without CoC? Of course not, don’t be silly.

Around 118,000 went to the Empire. Isn’t that the theatre that’s been around for donkey's years? Oh and 70,000 have been to our new, splendid arena. Add the 48,500 patrons who have discovered(!) the RLPO and around 26,000 who have been to the Playhouse and Everyman.

And how about this for a huge dollop of culture. Guess who’s heading our way in the summer pops? Diana Ross.

Thousands upon thousands of people would have flocked to all of the above venues even if we had been declared the European Capital of Absolute Bog All. I will concede that CoC, may have attracted more visitors to some or even all of the above venues.

Some say that many of the long-established events in the city have been hijacked by CoC. Now they are bagging the whole tally of attendees as their very own. It just won’t wash.

I mean penicillin is culture, so why not add up all of the patients in the Royal on antibiotics, oh and chuck in those addicted to yoghurt and lets add them to the big equation. Maybe CoC-issue calculators use a different adding-up formula to the rest of humankind.

Larry Neild presents The Commons Touch every Sunday at 12 noon on CityTalk 105.9FM.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

John Lennon AirportMarch 7th 2008.

I see the cheeky bastards "badged" the Africa Express thing last week too, even though, as Ben Patey pointed out, it was nothing to do with 08 and they didn't even know about it! How does that happen then?

jaseMarch 7th 2008.

Yes, Donaldson is a total prat.

Our Lord RedmondMarch 7th 2008.

Er, I think you'll find we put 20 or 25k into Africa Exprez ...

Lord StreetMarch 7th 2008.

Well said, Mr. Neild! I popped into the Walker Art Gallery last week to meet some chums and to have a cup of tea whilst I was waiting. I suppose this visit was logged and credit taken by C.o.C. but it was nothing to do with them. If they could get the tables in there wiped of all the spilt tea, crumbs and sticky residues, it might have some effect for which the C.o.C.-ups could claim credit. ---------- “Lord Redmond”? I thought it was “Professor” Redmond?

East Lancs RoadMarch 7th 2008.

is 08 really that crap? and, is that good looking feller Kris Donaldson really a prat?

Lord RedmondMarch 7th 2008.

Good idesa about adding the patients at the Royal who are on antibiotics. Perhaps we could get the NHS to sponsor it? We could also have an Open Culture Day where people open up their fridges at home and bring the most rancid piece of cheese, or the mouldiest carrot, or the curdiest bottle of milk to a giant mixing bowl in Lord Street (named after me, obviously) and see if we can grow the most disgusting and biggest culture in the world?

WappingMarch 7th 2008.

I thought we got to be CoC because of the wonders we have here, such as the RLPO, the museums and galleries, Africa Oye, Mathew St Festival, all the fabulous theatres and the general grass-roots creativity etc. It now seems we got these wonders because we are CoC.I thought I was Wapping but now I'm confused.

AnonymousMarch 7th 2008.

Larry, perhaps some of those people weren't "discovering" the RLPO, but some of the good fertiliser that's been on at the Phil besides the RLPO? Just a thought

V. I. Lenin AirportMarch 7th 2008.

I see that THAT Jim Hancock has pinched Larry Neild's seat at the Daily Post - while it was still warm! - so much for the sincerity of local television news' 'Mr. Genial'!

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