Author Ken Follett and celebrities flock to Stevenage to unveil murals

PUBLISHED: 17:15 03 February 2015 | UPDATED: 17:15 03 February 2015

Author Ken Follett, actress Vicki Michelle and Ken Hensley

Author Ken Follett, actress Vicki Michelle and Ken Hensley

Archant

The ‘nearly red carpet’ was rolled out on Friday to welcome celebrities back to Stevenage to unveil the last panels of the mural on the walkway through the town’s arts and leisure centre.

Mayor Sherma Batson and author Ken Follett.Mayor Sherma Batson and author Ken Follett.

Some of Stevenage’s most successful arts personalities from the worlds of theatre, film, sculpture and literature joined the guest list for the event at Stevenage Leisure Centre.

Among the familiar faces were best-selling author Ken Follett, Uriah Heep musician Ken Hensley and actress and Gordon Craig Theatre patron Vikki Michelle, who each drew back a set of red velvet drapes to reveal a photo frieze featuring cultural icons.

An earlier set of panels saluting some of the town’s sporting stars was unveiled last year.

Mayor Sherma Batson said: “It has been really interesting to discover the wealth of talent that has been linked with or come to our town, certainly dispelling the myth that Stevenage is a cultural ghetto.”

Mayor Sherma Batson and acress Vicki Michelle.Mayor Sherma Batson and acress Vicki Michelle.

Author Ken Follett, who has sold over 130 million books worldwide, moved to the town 20 years ago after his wife, Barbara, was chosen to fight for the town’s parliamentary seat, later becoming the Labour MP. He said: “I am honoured to be included in the mural.

“It has been an absolutely wonderful experience to come here and be a part of it and the people have made us feel so at home.”

Vocalist and keyboard player Ken Hensley moved to Stevenage for eight years when he was 11.

After he unveiled his part of the picture, he told the Comet: “I think the mural is fantastic, it is amazing to think of all the talent that came from here.”

Other people featured on the mural include Gossip Girl actor Ed Westwick, tenor James Griffett, artist Peter Blagg and sculpture William Mitchell.

The murals have been commissioned as part of Stevenage Borough Council’s work to improve the appearance of the town centre.

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