Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Fig. 17.2. 9 Madryn Street, Toxteth, Liverpool 8, birthplace and childhood home of Ringo Starr. A stone's throw
from the Grade II listed Princes Park, Madryn Street is in a prime gentrifi cation zone (author's photo, May 2009).
speculate as to whether this is because of Starr's
least-liked Beatle status or that 9 Madryn Street,
like most of the other properties in the strongly
multi-cultural neighbourhood (an area which,
following the riots of 1981, continues to prompt
largely negative associations) has been allowed
to fall into dereliction by Liverpool Council, and
is condemned to be demolished as part of pro-
posed 'regeneration' (or gentrifi cation) plans for
the area (Fig. 17.2). 8
rather than the general public), the producers
seek to reassure the viewer that despite the
fi lm's corporate and instrumentalist message, it
is still able to display a 'cutting edge', refl exive
awareness of the semiotic mine-fi eld through
which the fi lm-makers are required to gingerly
tread. The inclusion of a 6-s sequence consist-
ing of a crudely animated image of the Liver-
pool actor Ricky Tomlinson in a mocked up
version of the BBC test card graphics, 9 accom-
panied by the 'Gallery Theme' music from the
1960s-70s children television's programme
Vision On (Fig. 17.3), is suggestive of a certain
playful disregard for the fi lm's own formal and
aesthetic conventions, while at the same time
referencing the iconoclasm and sense of humour
of popular Scouse mythology. Similarly, the
staggeringly insincere celebrity endorsements of
the Capital of Culture bid in the fi lm (from the
likes of Atomic Kitten, Blue, Status Quo, Lionel
Ritchie) appear almost wilfully chosen for their
. . . Vibrant; Unique; Unparalleled; Dynamic;
Creative; Forward-looking; Great; Diverse;
Excellent; Exciting; Vibrant; Unrivalled;
Perhaps mindful of the fact that the depiction of
the city in Liverpool: World in One City might sit
uneasily with some Liverpudlians (although it
should be noted that the fi lm's intended audience
was the business and 'regeneration industry'
8 John Lennon and Paul McCartney's childhood homes are now maintained by the National Trust, which organ-
izes tours of the properties ( Campaigners trying to save 9
Madryn Street from demolition have petitioned the National Trust also to preserve Starr's former home in the inter-
est of British heritage and national tourism (see - accessed 4 May 2009).
9 The BBC test card was a static image that appeared during periods when no programmes were being broad-
cast to confi rm reception of the signal.
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