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Arts: Brian thinks his O8 role was just Capital.

Byline: Joe Riley

YES, there he is, the 08man of the moment.

The answer to the week's most asked question: "Who WAS the master of ceremonies for the People's Opening show on St George's Plateau?" is Brian Dodd.

And there's a very good reason why the 36-year-oldWidnes-born actor was easily noticed by the unrivalled audience of 50,000.

He was standing on top of the 200ft Wellington Column.

Not a place for anyone who suffers from vertigo.

"They did tell me I would be up there at the audition," says Brian, partner of Liverpool theatre director Jen Hayes.

"You needed a head for heights.

"It's 186 steps to the top - I counted every one of them," he adds.

To fit in with the container/ construction site theme of the show-and to satisfy health and safety laws - Brian's 'costume' included a hard hat and riggers' boots (although no-one could see the boots).

But did he need to learn his lines - or could he just read them?

"Apart from the final sequence, which was finalised only the night before, I learnt the script in the same way as you would for any stage play."

But there was no intercom link with producers on the ground: "I took my cue from the various musical sequences," says Brian, last seen in down-to-earth mode in the Wall Talks heritage play at the Stanley Dock to baccow are house.

Among future bookings is a role in Federico Garcia Lorca's play Blood Wedding at the Everyman.

But he won't forget being the face and voice who announced the start of Capital of Culture to the world - including millions worldwide on television.

"Yes, my biggest ever audience," jokes Brian.

"And something I will always remember."


WHOIS THAT MAN? It's Brian Dodd, who announced the start of Capital of Culture year from the Wellington Monument PICTURE: FLICKR/ greenspice1964
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 18, 2008
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