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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Londoner Gareth "proud of Bradford"
Gareth Gates
Gareth Gates says Bradford is still his home
Gareth Gates has insisted he is proud of his Bradford roots, despite now claiming to be a Londoner.

The chart-topping star admitted in his autobiography that he hides his Bradford background when meeting new people.

Many foreigners have never heard of Bradford so it is easier to claim he is from the capital, he explained in his new book, Talking Point.

But his remarks may have caused upset in the Yorkshire city and on Wednesday he tried to undo the damage.

Friends and family

"My roots are obviously in Bradford - always have been and always will be," he said.

"I spend as much spare time as I can back there with my friends and family and it's home to me.

We've nothing to forgive Gareth for, he works in London and he's done an awful lot for Bradford.
Spokeswoman for Bradford Council
"When I'm asked where I live, I say London as that's where I'm based now.

But home will always be Bradford and I'm proud of that."

The 19-year-old singer spent his life in Bradford until the television talent show Pop Idol turned him into a star and he moved to a luxury flat in London.

He became an ambassador for the city during its bid to become the European Capital of Culture.

He recently splashed out on a 500,000 farmhouse for his family on the outskirts of Bradford.

A spokeswoman for Bradford Council told BBC News Online: "We've nothing to forgive Gareth for, he works in London and he's done an awful lot for Bradford.

"We'll continue to work with him in the future, he loves Bradford."

Gareth pulls out of Hampden gig
27 Jul 03  |  Scotland
Gates tops the charts
16 Mar 03  |  Music

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