Ian McNeice becomes the latest celebrity to become a patron of local charity, Arts Taunton.

Distinguished actor, Ian, who many will know from his character as Bert Large in TV favourite, Doc Martin, tied up with the charity last year to support their youth festival, Tyca.

The arts charity approached Ian after finding out that he’d been a student at Taunton School where his love of acting began. They were looking for someone who would be able to host the festival virtually and when asked, Ian said yes.

Scripts were drawn up and a cameraman dispatched after testing negative for Covid-19. The filming took place in a socially distanced large hotel room with balcony doors and windows open in September of 2020.

“I look back fondly at the start of my own artistic career and I was delighted to be able to introduce and compere the charity’s Tyca festival in 2020, so much so, that when the charity asked me if I would be happy to stay connected in the form of a patron, I didn’t hesitate”  said Ian.

“Having a patron on board, with Ian‘s experience and enthusiasm is amazing,” said Kit Chapman, founder and trustee of Arts Taunton. “We feel very honoured, and Ian joins a great line up of active patrons and ambassadors, to whom we are immensely grateful.

The charity has just announced the theme for their Tyca Festival 2021 which will be Empowerment.