‘Unanimous’ decision names Peter Andre Valletta Cultural Ambassador

Former British chart-topper Peter Andre, who had visited the island to perform during the Malta Music Awards and the Malta Song for Europe semi-final, is named Cultural Ambassador to Valletta.

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic
8 February 2013, 12:00am
Peter Andre (centre) visits Mater Dei Hospital, accompanied by Health Minister Joe Cassar and his girlfriend Emily MacDonagh. Photo: Martin Attard/DOI.
Peter Andre (centre) visits Mater Dei Hospital, accompanied by Health Minister Joe Cassar and his girlfriend Emily MacDonagh. Photo: Martin Attard/DOI.
British pop singer Peter Andre, who had catapulted to world fame following the release of his single Mysterious Girl in 1995, was named Cultural Ambassador to Valletta following his visit to Malta this month.

News of Andre's nomination only surfaced after local Facebook users began sharing a report from the UK celebrity gossip website Reveal.co.uk, with some users expressing bafflement as to why Andre - a singer more famous in recent years for his high-profile on-off romance with British tabloid-magnet Katie 'Jordan' Price, than for any achievements in music - was chosen to represent Valletta.

Asked about the nomination, Valletta Mayor Alexiei Dingli revealed that the nomination does not have a particularly strict set of criteria, explaining that, in order to 'qualify' as an ambassador for Valletta, a person has to be: "a celebrity, fond of Valletta, and someone who will help in the promotion of Valletta abroad".

Dingli added that Andre was chosen "by the Valletta Local Council during its last council meeting on the 29 January, and it was a unanimous decision of the council".

Asked whether the nomination would be of direct benefit to Valletta, Dingli said "yes, definitely.

"Valletta will feature prominently in his show on iTV which has an average viewership of 1.7 million viewers and a peak viewership of 1.9 million viewers. An additional 300,000 viewers watch reruns of his show.

"Apart from this, I can reveal that Peter promised to come again to Valletta this coming summer where we will be discussing potential future collaborations."

Dingli also deemed Andre to be an adequate celebrity to represent Valletta, citing the fact that Valletta's nomination as European Capital for Culture in 2018 promotes a wide-ranging sweep of the definition of culture: "from high culture to pop culture and even particular niches".

However, when contacted for comment, Edward Bonello, the press officer for the V.18 Foundation denied any involvement with the decision to appoint Peter Andre as Cultural Ambassador.

"The nomination has no relation to V.18," Bonello said.

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic is MaltaToday's culture editor and film critic. He joined t...