HE is one of Britain’s biggest songwriters, having sold 50 million records worldwide - and now he’s turning is attention to one of Yorkshire’s most inspiring tales.
Take That star Gary Barlow is writing a new musical based on the Calendar Girls - the women of Rylstone Women’s Institute (WI) who posed nude for a charity calendar in 1999, and went on to raise almost £4m. The story went from the Yorkshire Dales to cinema screens in 2003 with a film starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, and was adapted as a stage play in 2008.
Yesterday, tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire announced they are backing Barlow’s stage musical, which will be launched near the Calendar Girls’ home in Burnsall soon.
Chief executive Gary Verity said: “To have someone of Gary Barlow’s calibre working on a Yorkshire musical is amazing and I am sure, like the Calendar Girls film and the stage play, this musical will be a huge success.”
Plans for the show were announced at an event at Scarborough Spa which also saw the teams taking part in the first ever Tour de Yorkshire, which takes place across the county in May, revealed for the first time.
Welcome to Yorkshire also unveiled plans to promote the Yorkshire countryside across television and in cinemas across the UK, while an international campaign ran with Visit Britain will run in France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Mr Verity: “We’ve talked for several years about Yorkshire’s potential as a county and as a destination – and now our collective ambitions and dreams are becoming a reality.”