Lorraine Kelly OBEBack to Dundee Ambassadors

Lorraine Kelly OBE

Lorraine Kelly is a Scottish television presenter and journalist best known for her weekday morning show 'Lorraine' She lives in Broughty Ferry and is an avid Dundee United supporter.

Dundee has changed dramatically in recent years. In fact, I'd say it's had something of a renaissance, particularly in the past decade.  I'm from Glasgow originally; the Gorbals, and I lived in East Kilbride before moving to Dundee. But I do consider myself an adopted Dundonian.

Football brought me to Dundee. The first time I came here was with my husband Steve to watch Hearts playing Dundee United at Tannadice. It was our first date, in 1985. We started spending more and more time in the city - there was loads going on and a good atmosphere. First of all I loved the football team, then I loved the city!

You can't beat the view from The Law. I hadn't ever visited Dundee before when I was younger, but I remember the first time I drove to the top of The Law and looked out over the city. I couldn't believe how beautiful the view was. I also love going to the Observatory, which is the only one in Britain open to the public. It is a hidden gem.

When I'm on the plane coming into Dundee, my heart lifts. While Dundee is home to me, I do travel a lot - mainly back and forth to London. When you're flying back and the weather is really good you can see that it's a truly beautiful city in the most gorgeous location.

I think there's a strong will and a feeling of optimism in the city.  In the past Dundee has missed out in business and commercial opportunities, but there's definitely a desire for success in the city. There are still opportunities for many more improvements, we just need to make sure that we grab them.

There's a piece of Dundee art in my garden. There are four penguin statues outside Discovery Point, one of the best museums in Scotland, and the most romantic thing my husband's ever done was to ask the artist to make one for me. So an Emperor penguin now sits in my garden. It's the best present I've ever received, and by far the most unusual. 

The people, the shopping, the nights out - there's load to love about Dundee! I'm also a big supporter of Dundee University and was proud to be the Rector there for three years. When you take on board what's happening in the university - the life sciences and groundbreaking research that's being done - it's really exciting. I think we're very lucky to have a campus on our doorstep.

The McManus Gallery is set to be a jewel in the city's crown. I am one of the patrons for the major refurbishment of the McManus Galleries and it is going to be the jewel in Dundee's crown. All the upheaval will be worth it when the museum reopens after the biggest facelift in its 138-year history. Locals and visitors alike will enjoy seeing Dundee's story told in an educational, inspirational and entertaining way.

I think the V&A plans for Dundee have the potential to attract a lot of people to the city. If this comes off, it will be a hugely exciting development - the sort of thing that really cements a city's position on the map and moves us up a league. People go to cities like Bilbao because it has the Guggenheim and I think the V&A will do the same for Dundee. Fingers crossed!!

I love to show off what the city has to offer. If ever I'm having a meeting for work or I'm doing an interview, I get them to come to Dundee. We'll go for a coffee to one of the many good coffee bars and restaurants that have sprung up near to the Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre. Invariably everyone loves what the city now has to offer and becomes a convert to the joys of Dundee. It's just a matter of getting people into the city so they can see for themselves what there is to like. 

When Dundonians get knocked down, they bounce back up again. The city has experienced tough times but what I really admire about people here is their strength of character and resilience. I think it's remarkable and you see those qualities in all kinds of things; in the writers, artists and talented creative people. The culture here is strong and unique and makes the city very special.

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