Alt city guide to Birmingham

Creatively, Birmingham is elusive. Unlike many cities, it does not have an identifiable cultural DNA. It has never asserted itself as a centre of radical art or music. Local creatives offer various reasons why. Some take a quiet pride in that anonymity: “We didn’t shout as loud as people from Manchester, but that’s the nature of the city”, the techno producer Karl O’Connor, aka Regis, once told the Quietus. Over the years that modesty may have become a self-fulfilling prophecy, but, even geographically, Birmingham is not built for self-promotion. This…

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Sir Lenny Henry’s appointment as Birmingham City University chancellor to give young people ‘life-changing opportunities’

His illustrious career has spanned four decades which has seen him play stand-up comedian, charity founder, actor, writer, and blues singer. Now, he can add university chancellor to his CV, a move which is hoped to inspire the students of tomorrow. Birmingham City University (BCU) made the announcement this week that Sir Lenny Henry had visited the campus to start preparing for his five-year term as chancellor. The 57-year-old, who was knighted in the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours for services to drama and charity, said his new role will be…

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