Celebrities back bid to bring Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2016

BACKING LE BID: Emmerdale stars Tom Lister, Dominic Power, Sammy Winward, Chris Bisson and Tony Audenshaw lend their support.

BACKING LE BID: Emmerdale stars Tom Lister, Dominic Power, Sammy Winward, Chris Bisson and Tony Audenshaw lend their support.

Have your say

An A-list team of celebrities from the world of film, food and television are all ‘backing le bid’ to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2016.

They join more than 150,000 pledges of support already in for Yorkshire’s bid to host the two-day Grand Depart of the Tour de France, the world’s largest annual sporting event.

Emmerdale stars including keen cyclist Tom Lister, who plays Carl King, and Dominic Power, who plays Cameron Murray, are among the stars to give their backing to the bid.

The pair were joined by fellow cast members Sammy Winward (Katie Sugden), Chris Bisson (Jai Sharma) and Tony Audenshaw (Bob Hope) for a celebratory photoshoot.

Tom Lister said: “Bringing the greatest road race to Yorkshire? That would be amazing!! It will continue to encourage Yorkshire’s love affair with cycling, not to mention my own.

“The roads are teeming with riders nowadays and I know they would all come out in force to see the best cyclists riding across our county.”

Leeds-born Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis and celebrity chef and TV host Raymond Blanc are also supporting the bid, co-ordinated by tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire.

Blanc, who owns Brasserie Blanc in Leeds, said: “Yorkshire is rich in fantastic local food producers, in a lot of ways it reminds me of France. It would be the perfect setting for one of the greatest sporting spectacles in the world.”

Matthew added: “My work has taken me around the world but I always try and find time to watch the Tour de France.

“For it to come to my home county of Yorkshire would be unbelievable and that’s why I am backing Le Bid. For me, there’s no more magical place on the planet than Yorkshire and it would be a perfect setting for the Tour de France.”

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to have the support of these big names. It goes to show that the profile of our bid has reached beyond pure cycling circles.”

Yorkshire’s bid for the Grand Depart includes two days of racing and would feature a festival of arts and cycling in Leeds to celebrate the arrival of Le Tour.

To ‘Back le Bid’, visit: www.yorkshire.com/backlebid

People around the world are marking Earth Hour this evening. People in Britain are expected to join in at 8.30pm... and then they will switch their clocks forward tonight as British Summer Time begins.

Get ready to turn your clocks forward... but before that expect things to get much darker