EDITORIAL: The start is nigh

So the big day is almost upon us. Derry is preparing to announce to the world the programme for the City of Culture year 2013.

This is really the first big showpiece for the Culture year, and marks the point at which Derry seeks to impress these islands and beyond with its plans for next year.

Quite a bit of media interest is expected, with the BBC in particular weighing in with a commitment to do their bit to help get the city’s message across.

The message for those in the know is that it will be an impressive programme - with the suggestion that there are some rabbits to pull from the hat as headliners on the day.

By all accounts, the City of Culture organisation at Ebrington has been working at full tilt in recent days putting the finishing touch to the programme. Those who’ve already had a look say it’s worth waiting for. The rest of us wait with bated breath.

Those who want to be there for the announcement can go across to the new pavilion at Ebrington for noon on Thursday. The programme is also expected to go online then. There will be quite a lot happening over the next couple of days, with briefings for visiting media, some media stunts to try and secure space and time on newspapers, radio and television, and more.

It has been a difficult time for the organisation in recent days, with a key member of the team, Garbhan Downey, being suspended in controversial circumstances. It’s a baptism of fire for Fiona Kane, now heading up the marketing effort.

Let’s hope this week gives a great start to a great year.