Bid 'is close to star Michael's heart'
THE family and friends of Hollywood actor Michael Sheen say the bid is a cause close to his heart.
Speaking at a special London reception yesterday they said the Frost/Nixon actor was heavily involved in the campaign to celebrate the area's cultural heritage.
His West End actress cousin Caroline Sheen, aged 37, and Nick Evans, who is the associate director of Jesus Christ Superstar, said Michael was fully behind the bid.
Mr Evans said: "Michael has been very heavily involved.
"The lovely thing about Michael and Caroline is they feel a real sense of wanting to put something back into the place they came from."
He added: "If you go to a West End theatre you will find two or three Welsh performers."
Actress Caroline, whose family hail from Port Talbot and has starred in Les Miserables, said the City of Culture would offer opportunities to Welsh performers to work in Swansea Bay if the bid was successful.
"I want to work more in Wales," she added.
"It's a brilliant city for promoting news, art and literature."
The eyes of the world were focused on Port Talbot when Michael Sheen performed The Passion in a modern-day retelling of the Easter story on the streets of the town.
Caroline said the impact of the City of Culture on Swansea Bay if it is staged in 2017 would be even greater.
Leicester, Hull and Dundee are also in with a chance of hosting the City of Culture in 2017.