Once again Gareth Gates is carrying Bradford's hopes before him with his first single due to be issued on Monday. His new version of a song first taken up the British charts by Jimmy (now Sir Jimmy) Young seems certain to race to the top spot again.

Gareth has come a long way in a short time, thanks to his talent and his personality. He is currently enjoying some of the well-deserved commercial fruits of that success through a new contract with a leading soft-drinks manufacturer.

His behaviour, demeanour and attitude have been exemplary during his rise to fame. He is a charming and gifted young man who is proving to be a great ambassador for Bradford at a time when the city is pinning its hopes on becoming Capital of Culture 2008.

There are just 18 days to go to when the bids have to be in. What better time could there be for a Bradford singer to put his city and district on the map in a big way by going straight to Number 1 and hopefully into the record books as the fastest-selling single ever, to show the world who really should have won the top spot as Pop Idol if only the phones had worked as they should?

At a time when we are regularly confronted with media stereotypes of what is perceived as typically Bradford, we need bright new role models like Gareth to raise the district's morale and make it clear to the world that there is much more to this remarkable place than some TV producers would have people believe.