Arena bomb poet Tony Walsh debuts new ode from top of Blackpool Tower

A new poem celebrating the spirit of the North West is to be broadcast from Up '˜ere.

Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 10:48 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 2:10 pm
Poet Tony Walsh at the top of Blackpool Tower to recite new work Up 'ere for BBC North West Tonight

Poet Tony Walsh, who captured the feeling of the nation with an emotional tribute to Manchester in the aftermath of the arena bomb in May, has written a new ode to look back on 2017 as well as capturing the ‘unique character’ of the region.

The poem will be broadcast on BBC North West Tonight, with Tony filmed reading his verse from the top of Blackpool Tower. The iconic coastline landmark also features in the words of the poem.

Tony said: “Up ‘ere sums up the spirit of the North West and touches on some of the big news stories of the year as well as looking forward to Christmas.

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Poet Tony Walsh with BBC North West Tonight presenters Roger Johnson and Annabel Tiffin

“It captures the unique character of our region and reflects on the importance of things like sport, fashion, music, architecture and countryside as well as the diverse faces and places which make up the fabric of our community.

“It’s packed with emotion of all kinds and I’m really looking forward to seeing my words come together with the amazing visuals.

“It’s a real honour to have been asked to do this and I hope that people enjoy it.”

The poem and Tower will feature in a special live broadcast from St Ann’s Church in Manchester, at St Ann’s Square which became a focal point for people to come together following the Manchester Arena attack.

Poet Tony Walsh with BBC North West Tonight presenters Roger Johnson and Annabel Tiffin

The special at 6.30pm on Friday will also include a congregation and choirs bringing festive cheer, and a special Christmas Stars Award for Saxon Miller who comforted an arena bomb victim until her mum arrived.

Tony Walsh is best known for his now iconic poem, This is the Place, which he performed in Albert Square to the people of Manchester and a worldwide TV audience in the wake of the Arena attack in May.

It defined what is great about Manchester, its people and its communities and inspired hope in the wake of tragedy.

South Shore Academy receptionist and loved mum Jane Tweddle, 51, was among the 22 people killed when suicide attacker Salman Abedi detonated a bomb at the end of US singer Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena gig.