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What we learned this week about Aberdeen’s new sign, Ronaldo, George Michael and Coronation fever

Aberdeen's new Hollywood-style sign prompted a range of opinions from the public, while the first major cruise ship arrived in the city

Aberdeen giant letters have popped up in Castlegate. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson.
Aberdeen giant letters have popped up in Castlegate. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson.

What we learned this week….

HOLLYWOOD-style letters, spelling out Aberdeen, popped up in the Granite City’s Castlegate area and attracted plenty of interest from the public.

Business leaders are hoping the feature will encourage more visitors to the city centre, as well as promote it on social media platforms such as Instagram.

The new letters were manufactured in Aberdeen and come complete with built-in interactive technology. They will feature animated digital displays and change colour to celebrate holidays and events in the future.

Some tourists praised the initiative and had selfies taken next to it. But one Aberdonian told the Press & Journal: “Dearie me, it’s just a waste of money.”

Economic boost for region

ABERDEEN’S expanded harbour welcomed its maiden cruise ship at the new £400m South Harbour which is expected to provide a economic boost to the region.

The first vessel to arrive on Tuesday was the 665ft-long AIDAaura, which has the capacity to carry more than 1,200 holidaymakers.

The facility is scheduled to welcome 39 cruise ships between May and October.

Humza Yousaf confirmed the SNP has found new auditors. Image: Jane Barlow/PA.

THE SNP has signed a contract with a new auditor more than six months after the previous firm quit as it attempts to file accounts by the end of this month.

Scotland’s first minister, Humza Yousaf, confirmed that Manchester-based AMS Accountants Group has agreed to complete the accounts for both the party and its Westminster group, although they will have to get their skates on.

It emerged recently that the party’s previous auditors, Johnston Carmichael, had stepped away last September without anybody bothering to inform Mr Yousaf.

Heated debate

FERGUS Ewing ripped up a copy of the Scottish Government’s controversial Highly Protected Marine Areas consultation during a heated member’s debate in Holyrood.

The SNP MSP said he had never seen such a backlash to a policy in almost half a century, warning it would “haunt” the administration.

In the course of an angry and occasionally theatrical speech against his own party, Ewing suggested the idea should be placed in the “burgeoning policy recycling unit”, along with the deposit return scheme and consultation on alcohol advertising.

Ronaldo is the world’s highest-paid athlete. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

CRISTIANO Ronaldo has become the world’s highest paid athlete for the first time since 2017, following his move to Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr.

Forbes magazine reported that the Portuguese forward, who formerly excelled with Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, earned a little matter of £108.7million over the past 12 months and revealed his contract is worth more than £176.5m a year.

Not bad for somebody at 38 whose best days are well and truly in the past.

MEANWHILE, closer to home, Aberdeen FC rewarded Barry Robson for the startling renaissance he has orchestrated at Pittodrie since replacing Jim Goodwin by giving him a new two-year contract to steer the Dons forward.

The club were in freefall when Robson took over in an interim capacity, but have won their last seven matches, including a 2-0 success over Rangers.

Deborah James did most of the talking in Bowelbabe: In Her Own Words.

Poignant moment

THE FINAL on-air conversation between Dame Deborah James and BBC presenter Tony Livesey was voted moment of the year at the UK radio industry’s annual awards.

The courageous You, Me and the Big C podcaster, who also set up the Bowelbabe cancer research fund, died last year at the age of only 40, but made a poignant last appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live shortly before her death.

During the interview, Livesey refused to say goodbye, while thanking Dame Deborah and offering her “a big warm hug”. She responded by thanking him for his support, as well as applauding listeners for “coming on this crazy journey with us.”

KATE Bush and George Michael are among the artists who will be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at this year’s ceremony.

They will be joined on the prestigious roll of honour by country legend Willie Nelson, who recently turned 90, and singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow.

Bush has not released any new music since 2011, while Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016. But both will now be in the annals forever.

King Charles III pictured at Aberdeen Art Gallery. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

Preparations for Coronation

MEMBERS of the UK’s armed forces paraded through the streets of central London as part of a full dress rehearsal for today’s Coronation of King Charles III.

Dressed in military attire, more than 6,000 service personnel practised their positions in rows on horseback and on foot in preparation for the event, accompanying the Gold State Coach on its journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.

HOWEVER, while the focus of the world will be on London today, Buckingham Palace went into lockdown during the week after a man was arrested for throwing suspected shotgun shells over its gates, prompting a controlled explosion.

It was confirmed later that officials were not treating the incident as terror-related.