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Stephen Merchant visits Bristol Zoo to be inducted into the Bristol Walk of Fame

TV actor and comedian Stephen Merchant has visited Bristol Zoo to be officially inducted into the Bristol Walk of Fame.

Stephen Merchant with Zoo Director, Dr Bryan CarrollThe writer, director, comedian and actor was voted onto the Walk of Fame following a public vote and visited the Zoo with his family at the weekend to accept his plaque and spend a day at the attraction.

Merchant is one of 60 ‘icons’ from across the historic, creative, sporting and wildlife spectrum which are celebrated on the walk. Each of the stars is featured on a specially designed Bristol Blue Glass plaque placed around the Zoo’s 12-acre site.

Born in Bristol in 1974, Merchant attended Hanham High School before studying at the University of Warwick, where he began his broadcasting career. He first performed stand-up comedy at Bristol’s Comedy Box.

He is perhaps best-known as the co-writer and co-director of the comedy series, TStephen Merchant with his plaque at Bristol Zoo he Office, and haswon three BAFTAs, four British Comedy Awards and two Golden Globes.

He said he was honoured to have been voted onto the Walk: “To have been voted for by the public in my home town is fantastic. I'm honoured to be commemorated on the Walk of Fame alongside some of the people I model myself on, such as John Cleese, Cary Grant and Wallace & Gromit.

He added: “I'm here with my mum and dad. Ever since I was a kid I've begged my parents to take me to the zoo and today they finally did. All I had to do was write a sitcom, appear in some films, do a stand-up comedy tour, then win the votes of hundreds of people so the zoo gave me a plaque. Now can I see a gibbon?" 

To see a short video of Stephen Merchant's trip to Bristol Zoo, click here: http://youtu.be/B-8vbYWUEwA

Director of Bristol Zoo, Dr Bryan Carroll, added: “Bristol has a well-known reputation for producing talented and inspiring people and we are pleased to be celebrating these icons on our Bristol Walk of Fame. We are delighted to be able to welcome Stephen Merchant and his family to Bristol Zoo.”

Last year’s inductees onto the Bristol Walk of Fame included a host of famous names from Banksy, Massive Attack, Justin Lee Collins, toJ.K Rowling, Tony Robinson, Bill Bailey, and the Wurzels.

This year’s new inductees are: Bristol Rovers FC; Bristol City FC; Rosie & Wendy the elephants that used to live at Bristol Zoo; founder of CLIC Sargent, Bob Woodward; Darth Vader actor, David Prowse; founder of the Bristol Aeroplane Company, Sir George White; cricketer Marcus Trescothick, Olympic ice skater, Robin Cousins; snooker-player, Judd Trump and Bristol Zoo’s summer art project, Wow! Gorillas.

The Bristol Walk of Fame is sponsored by Mama Bear’s Day Nursery and Pre-School and has been created in association with Walk of Fame Ltd trademark owners and operators of cultural attractions in the UK.

To find out more about the Bristol Walk of Fame, visit the Zoo’s website at www.bristolzoo.org.uk/wow-walk-of-fame.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.

For more information about BristolZoo Gardensvisit the website at www.bristolzoo.org.uk or phone 0117 974 7300.

ENDS

 Notes to the Editor:

The Bristol Walk of Fame

  1. The Bristol Walk of Walk Fame is licensed in association with Walk of Fame Ltd www.walkoffame.co.uk

Bristol Zoo Gardens

  • Bristol Zoo is open from 9am every day except Christmas Day. 
  • Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on income from visitors and supporters to continue its important work. 
  • Bristol Zoo is involved with more than 100 co-ordinated breeding programmes for threatened wildlife species. 
  • Itemploys over 150 full and part-time staff to care for the animals and run a successful visitor attraction to support its conservation and education work. 
  • Bristol Zoo supports – through finance and skill sharing - 15 projects in the UK and abroad that conserveand protectsome of the world’s most endangered species.
  • In 2011 Bristol Zoo celebrated its 175th birthday. Over that past 175 years, the Zoo has brought six generations of Bristolians closer to wildlife, helped save over 175 species from extinction, established over 30 field conservation and research programmes all over the world, showed 40 millionschool-aged children the wonder of nature and given more than 90 million visitors a wonderful day out.
  • In 2010 Bristol Zoo Gardens set up a Conservation Fund to raise vital funds to help care for threatened animals and plants – both in the Zoo and through the conservation work we do in the UK and around the world.
  • Bristol Zoo Gardens is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums. BIAZA represents more than 90 member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums.

Mama Bear’s Day Nursery and Pre-school

  • Mama Bear’s Day Nursery and Pre-School is Bristol’s largest provider of pre-school childcare services.
  • Based in Hanham, it provides care for more than 800 children per week from nine sites in Bristol and one in Taunton, Somerset.
  • Mama Bear’s Day Nursery is a family-run organisation employing 250 staff, most of whom are qualified to level three or above. It is also part of the Apprentice programme, with 12 places across 12 sites.
  • The company was established in September 2002 with the aim of making high-quality, affordable childcare available to families living or working in and around Bristol.
  • The first nursery opened its doors in February 2004 in Brislington, followed in March 2004 by another in Shirehampton. Since then Mama Bear’s has opened an average of one new nursery per year.
  • It currently operates nurseries in Brislington, Shirehampton, Hengrove, Clifton, Downend, Soundwell, Cadbury Heath, Taunton, Fishponds, Crews Hole and Paignton.
  • The nurseries & pre-schools are open from 7.30am to 7.00pm from Monday to Friday, 51 weeks of the year (excluding bank holidays).
  • Mama Bear’s Day Nursery is consistently rated by OFSTED as Good or Outstanding.
  • For more information visit the website at www.mamabear.co.uk