From Mark Thomas in Shanghai
Sir Paul McCartney is high on the list of candidates being considered to represent Liverpool at the World Expo in Shanghai next year.
No official approach has yet been made, but Sir Paul indicated recently that he would like to play in China, and securing a star of his international reputation would give Liverpool a massive profile at the event.
Liverpool is the only UK city outside London to have a stand at the six-month event, thanks to its twinning agreement with Shanghai and the work of the Liverpool Shanghai Partnership. A total of 59 cities from around the world will have stands in the Urban Best Practice Area at the Expo, and securing a stand there is seen as a significant coup for Liverpool.
Other exhibitors at the Expo have already signed up high profile ambassadors, including opera singer Placido Domingo for Spain and movie star Alain Delon for France.
Sir Paul described China in November last year as the one country he most dreams of playing in.
"I've never played in China," said the ex-Beatle. "I am kind of interested to see what that's like. There's lots of places I've never played but I think China would be the answer."
The Expo site in Shanghai includes a spectacular 18,000 seat performance centre being built on the banks of the Huangpu river, which would provide a perfect and dramatic venue for him to play in.
A spokesman for the Liverpool Expo project told the Liverpool Daily Post today: "We are having conversations with a number of partners and individuals about contributing content to Liverpool's presence at the Expo. Sir Paul obviously has a very busy schedule but we would love it if he was available."
Expo spokesman Mr Xu Wei said Sir Paul would be a perfect choice to ensure that Liverpool gets the maximum impact from its involvement in the event. He said representatives of Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs would also be a big draw for the anticipated 70 million visitors, 95% of them Chinese.
Mr Xu told the Liverpool Daily Post: "Sir Paul is well known among well educated people and music fans in China. But the football clubs are even more widely known.
"My parents don't know the Beatles, but my father knows Michael Owen."Last Updated: 06/03/09 09:48