Fashion icon hails Council's 50+ Festival

One of the world's most recognisable fashion icons encouraged residents to get behind the city's 50+ Festival today as she helped celebrate its 10th anniversary.

British model Twiggy, one of the most iconic fashion faces of the 20th Century, was in the Granite City to herald the start of this year's "Get Oot and Aboot" programme.

And she told a capacity crowd at the Belmont Cinema to embrace the 50+ Festival by staying active and getting involved with the host of events taking place across the city.

She said: "The whole ethos of the 50+ Festival is something that I am really passionate about. When it comes to life I think you should do whatever you want and not what others want think is best. If you want to retire then do it, if you don't want, then don't.

"It is the same with fashion, you should wear whatever you feel happy and comfortable in and that doesn't mean you have to look old fashioned."

Twiggy said as well as her numerous work commitments across the globe she loved to spend time sewing, knitting and enjoying the outdoors.

She added: "You have so much natural beauty here on your doorstep, there's no shortage of things to do and places to get out and see. I love it up here, I wish I could stay longer but finding the time to do all these things is my problem."

The long-running festival once again boasts a jam-packed range of diverse events, all funded by The Common Good Fund for people aged over 50 who reside in the City of Aberdeen.

And to mark the tenth anniversary celebrations Aberdeen City Council in association with B4films and the Belmont Cinema will present the city's first-ever Classic Film Festival.

Staged over four days the film festival will feature a host of classic films at the Belmont Cinema as well as offering film fanatics and dedicated followers of fashion the chance to get up close and personal with Twiggy.

The festival kicked off today with Ken Russell's 1971 picture, The Boy Friend, starring Twiggy, Christopher Gable and Tommy Tune. The film led to Twiggy winning two Golden Globes for her performance in the film, Best actress and New Female Star of the year.

As part of her Aberdeen appearance a documentary about the life and times of Twiggy, The Worlds First Supermodel, was also shown before Twiggy took part in a question and answer session with the capacity crowd before she introduced The Boy Friend.

Twiggy, who was greeted by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen George Adam at the Belmont, said she was thrilled that her first film, The Boy Friend, had been chosen by B4films to open the Aberdeen Classic Film Festival as part of the 50+ Festival.

The Lord Provost said: "The 50+ Festival has a fantastic and varied programme of events. I hope residents aged over 50 in the city can get involved and enjoy the huge range of activities available to them.

"It's a huge thrill to be able to welcome Twiggy to Aberdeen today. I thought long and hard about whether or not to call her a legend or an icon but I'm delighted to say having met her she is much more than that, she is simply a very nice person and a fantastic ambassador for this year's 50+ Festival."

Twiggy added: "I'm delighted to be back in Aberdeen for the first time in almost 30 years, there's a fantastic programme of events throughout the festival and I hope they are a tremendous success and inspire people to get involved and take part."

As well as Twiggy's appearance the film festival will also include special screenings of Local Hero and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel before the festival closes with the British musical Summer Holiday, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Some of the other events in the packed programme include Cooking Demonstrations with the Kilted Chef Craig Wilson and an Inter-Generational Day promising fun for all ages at the Duthie Park tomorrow (Saturday) with a licensed marquee featuring performances from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Strathspey Fiddlers, Garioch Blend as well as exotic petting zoos, pony rides and circus workshops for children.

You can download a full brochure of events at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/50plus or collect a hard copy from various Council premises.

Tickets for the Film Festival priced £4 are available from The Belmont Picture House. To book your movie contact 0871 902 5721 or visit www.picturehouses.co.uk. Unless otherwise stated all other tickets for events will be available from Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122 or at www.boxofficeaberdeen.com.

City residents wishing to find out more about the 50+ Festival should contact Events Officer Alice Brooks on 01224 523913.