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Come and visit, Tony; WISH YOU WERE HERE SAY STARS.


THIS year Tony Blair has decided not to fly off to Tuscany for the whole of his summer holiday, but spend part of it with the family in Britain instead. The only question is exactly where? Downing Street is keeping quiet about his final destination, but if he hasn't made up his mind we can offer some suggestions. COLIN WILLS asked the stars to sing the praises of the places they love best in Britain - and to dash off these postcards to the PM...

Dear Tony Visit Cornwall

From Laurence Llewelyn Bowen

I AM so pleased that you, Cherie and the kids are spending some of your holidays in Britain.

When you were first elected Prime Minister, my wife wrote to you urging you to come on holiday to Cornwall to give the tourist trade a boost.

Now, even more than before, the rural economy needs all the help it can get after the foot and mouth crisis.

Here, businesses depend on tourism revenue through the summer to get them through the long winter.

Come to Cornwall, Tony, and I guarantee that you and your family will be swept off your feet by the natural beauty, landscape and history we have on our doorstep.

Even on a wet Sunday afternoon we can sit in our kitchen and tell our two daughters stories about King Arthur and Tintagel Castle and they are just enchanted. And when the weather's good, there's nowhere to match the north Cornish coast where we live.

But there is a lot of deprivation in Cornwall which goes unseen. So you should take time to explore before you go back to London. I can honestly say that you won't regret it!

Love Lawrence

Dear Tony, visit Glasgow

From Lorraine Kelly

GLASGOW is the friendliest, most vibrant place in the UK, and the city centre is a shoppers' paradise.

Head for Buchanan Street or the St Enoch Centre if you want all the usual chain stores, or go to Prince's Square which is full of interesting shops.

Check out Cruise if you want to be a Trendy Wendy then have a coffee in the nearby Italian Centre. If you want to treat yourself book into 1 Devonshire Gardens in the West End. It's a top hotel with food fit for angels.

Glasgow is stuffed with top cafes and restaurants including Cafe Gandolphi, Babbity Bowsers, Nairns, The Puppet Theatre and The Ubiquitous Chip.

The older kids will love the new Science Centre. Also worth seeing are the Museum of Transport and the Glasgow Art Galleries. You must visit the Burrell Collection. Baby Leo will love the Highland cattle that graze around the museum. As well as all of that, Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, the Campsie Fells and the Ayrshire Coast are a car trip away.

And you haven't lived until you've paddled in the sea at Largs while licking a Nardini's pokey jhat (ice cream cone).

Love Lorra

Dear Tony, visit Wales

From Carol Vorderman

THERE are some wonderful places in North Wales you could try for a holiday. And I heartily recommend Portmeirion on the Lleyn Peninsula.

It's that beautiful village where The Prisoner was filmed, Remember the TV show? It was very surreal and starred Patrick McGoohan as Number Six, who was always trying to escape but kept getting caught by what looked like a white weather balloon that bounced up and down the beach.

Anyway, in real life Portmeirion is a magical place. It looks very Italian, which should stop you pining too much for Tuscany. Also it makes a good jumping-off point to get to Anglesey, which is also well worth a visit.

There is some marvellous cliff scenery at South Stack which has breeding seabirds you can get very close to, and some beautiful villages. If you're feeling adventurous, Snowdonia is within striking distance. The only warning I would give you is about the food. Welsh cuisine is not the greatest in the world. But if the lure of Italy becomes too much, you'll find several nice restaurants where you will be able to get some decent pasta.

Love Carol

Dear Tony, visit Stoke-On-Trent

From Anthea Turner

WHERE better than the Potteries? You're bound to like the people. Nearly all of them voted for you, so you'll be among friends.

Can I suggest hiring a narrow-boat to sail up and down the canals? The canal system around Stoke is really intricate and there are some smashing riverside pubs to tie up at and enjoy.

Wedgwood used the canals to transport clay to Stoke and the pottery museums are a must. By paying a visit, you'll be able to see where the dinner service you use at Number 10 came from.

The canal system will take you up to Burton-on-Trent, home of the brewing industry where the beers are second to none (keep an eye on Euan, though). But it's not all beer and plates.

Alton Towers is not far away if you want a white-knuckle sort of day. I came from a girls' convent school and spent a summer packing crockery at a factory in the area. What I learned from the women on there put the finishing touches to my education.

And you must try Wright's Pies - the best meat and potato pies ever tasted.

Love Anthea

Dear Tony, visit Yorkshire

From Richard Whiteley

MAY I put in my ha'pennorth for the Yorkshire Wolds. I know them well, especially the little village of Wetwang, which had to good sense to elect me honorary mayor 10 years ago.

You'll love it. It's nice and quiet with a population of only 600 people. Attractions? It's hard to know where to start. There's a duckpond, well, there's a duckpond.

There was a huge archaeological find there not long ago. A British warrior queen's chariot from the Iron Age. Don't worry, it wasn't Maggie's official car from the old days.

Another great thing about Wetwang is that it boasts probably the best fish and chip shop in the North of England

You could make it a two-centre break by spending time in Giggleswick, about 60 miles away. It's famous for Giggles- wick claret, very New Labour, except it's imported from Europe. It also has the Ebbing And Flowing Well.

You can watch the water filling up for hours, then it suddenly disappears. That may not sound too thrilling, but it's a sight more exciting than a Robin Cook speech.

Love Richard

Dear Tony, visit Liverpool

From Ricky Tomlinson

A HOLIDAY in Liverpool would be nice and relaxing for you. You could walk around the docks and nobody would bother you at all.. all the workers were sacked by Thatcher.

There's been a lot of development around the waterfront which has gone very upmarket.And that's another reason you won't be pestered - the locals can't afford the prices.

We have two of the finest cathedrals in the world and two of the finest football teams... Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves.

If you do come here and knock on my door, I can take you for a tour of the Knotty Ash Jam Butty Mines, because I am a friend of the proprietor, Mr Kenneth Dodd.

But the real wealth of the city resides in its people. If you take the time to stop and chat, you'll be repaid a hundredfold. Everyone tells jokes. A typical one goes like this: A man rushes into a backstreet pub and asks the barman, "Can you tell me the quickest way to get to the hospital?" The barman replies, "Just drink Harry Hughes's beer over there." I look forward to seeing you.

Love Ricky
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 8, 2001
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