BBC's Pointless presenter Alexander Armstrong becomes patron of Rothbury music festival

A Northumberland born TV presenter, actor and classical singer takes on the role as the patron of Rothbury Traditional Music Festival.

Monday, 8th July 2019, 10:36 am
Updated Monday, 8th July 2019, 22:09 pm
Alexander Armstrong

Rothbury born Alexander Armstrong has been announced as the festivial’s patron as final preparations are being made for the 43rd event, which takes place in various venues in the town later this month.

Forty two years since it first filled the Coquet Valley with the sounds of fiddles, pipes and drums, the popular weekend-long celebration will return from July 19 to July 21 with a packed programme featuring performances, workshops, competitions and street entertainment fit for all the family.

Alexander, best known as one half of the comedy duo Armstrong and Miller and as host of the BBC TV game show Pointless, could not be happier to be cementing his support for the much-loved Festival as patron.

He said: “I am deeply proud to become patron of the Rothbury Traditional Music Festival. My father and grandfather were doctors in Rothbury, both were presidents of the pipe band, it is where I was born and grew up and it is the place I will always call home.

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“My fondest and earliest memories of live music and poetry are all from Rothbury Music Festivals of old.

“Northumberland has a madly rich folk music scene - a history that goes back seamlessly to the border minstrelsy and beyond. Rothbury’s role in keeping that history alive can not be overstated. This is an amazing honour.”

The feeling from the Festival committee is very much mutual.

Ian Stephenson, the Festival’s musical director said: “We’re absolutely over the moon to have Alexander become patron. We couldn’t think of a better person to do it.

“Actually, we can’t quite believe we didn’t ask him earlier - he’s the most famous person who’s ever come from Rothbury!

“More importantly though, he’s so passionate about the music that the Festival celebrates and he’s also written the words to one of the most beloved local songs, Rothbury Hills.”

Filming commitments are keeping Alexander away from this year’s Festival, but Ian says he’s confident its new patron will take to stage at a future event.