Jamie Oliver is to star in a new, international advertising campaign for VisitBritain, the first TV campaign from the tourism body in 10 years.
Featuring globally recognised British personalities inviting the world to visit Britain, the campaign will feature Oliver alongside celebrities including Dame Judi Dench, Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel, model Twiggy and actor Rupert Everett.
The campaign, which forms part of a four-year marketing drive for VisitBritain, will be shown in Britain's key inbound tourism markets including the USA and Western Europe as well as growth areas for the future such as China and India. The adverts will also be screened on BBC World News in Europe, BBC America and on slots donated by the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum across the Americas and Asia.
VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: "With the eyes of the world on us, we have an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Britain and then to close the sale with great travel deals and offers from our partners.
"This campaign aims to inspire visitors to come and explore for themselves. Over four years, we aim to attract four million extra overseas visitors, who will spend £2b across Britain."
Filmed all around Britain, the adverts will be complemented by short films from each celebrity - their personal invitation to Britain, filmed at a location of their choice. These films will be shown on VisitBritain's websites VisitBritain.com and VisitBritain.tv, and on third-party websites such as YouTube.
Oliver will promote "great British food". "We are a magpie culture - we take the world's best bits. And it's so multicultural, whether it's the food, the fashion or the arts - it's all going on. If you can get off the beaten track you will see, find, eat and have some incredible times," Oliver said.
Dawe added: "These films and TV adverts are just the start - in the next few months we will roll out the invitation from the industry and from the British public. This is Britain's moment - and, working with our partners, VisitBritain plans to capitalise on that."
VisitBritain's investment in the campaign is being match-funded by partners such as American Express, British Airways, DFDS Seaways, easyJet, Hilton, Lastminute.com, P&O Ferries, Radisson Edwardian and Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.
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By Kerstin Kühn
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