It was party time in Liverpool as the city got events for its year as European Capital of Culture underway. Tens of thousands gathered in the city centre to join the festivities led by one of Liverpool’s most famous sons Ringo Starr.
Over the next 12 months Merseyside will host hundreds of exhibitions, concerts and events from around the world.
But the preparations have been marred by controversy with some plans having to be scrapped. Starr told reporters the year would not see a reunion with former Beatles Sir Paul McCartney. He also spoke affectionately about the city’s unique atmosphere.
The Culture Capital honour is being shared with Stavanger in Norway, which is holding its own colourful ceremony today.