London SE1 website team

Cherie rallies capital’s cultural elite

London 2012 bid ambassador Cherie Blair - speaking at the Royal Festival Hall - has urged the capital's cultural community to 'Back the Bid' to bring the Olympic Games to Britain.

Mrs Blair was addressing an audience of representatives from cultural institutions including Tate, the Royal Opera House and the Arts Council.

She said that London's status as a world centre for the arts had a key role to play in the bid to host the 2012 Games.

"London is the cultural capital of the world," she said. "I believe our full proposals – across sporting venues, transport, volunteering, culture and education – really will create an amazing Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

"This is something that could reach out to every kid in London and say something positive to them."

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell joined London 2012's cultural head Jude Kelly and South Bank Centre Chief Executive Michael Lynch to speak at the event.

Mr Lynch was the Chief Executive of the Sydney Opera House when the city hosted the 2000 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Guests at the Royal Festival Hall reception included Michael Grade, Melvyn Bragg, Royal Court Director Ian Rickson and Orange Prize founder Kate Mosse.

London 2012 Cultural Ambassadors at the event included soprano Lesley Garrett and singer Heather Small, performer of London 2012's bid song 'Proud'.

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