The Oscar, Tony and Olivier award-winning actor, Sir Mark Rylance has thrown his support behind Southwark's bid to become the first London Borough of Culture.
Rylance, who won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Bridge of Spies at the 2017 Academy Awards, was joined by comic Jenny Eclair, representatives from Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe, and members of Southwark's business and arts networks at a festive celebration on the Southbank.
Following a similar model to the UK City of Culture awards, the competition will see £1 million awarded to the winning authority to be spent on culture events and initiatives.
Johnson Situ, Southwark Council's cabinet member for business, culture and social regeneration, said: "The focus of our bid is on working in the heart of our communities, in the estates, parks and on the streets to create new works of art and cultural celebrations by and for our residents, friends and visitors.
"But we have the resources, skills, creativity, talent and partnerships in place to deliver a spectacular showcase, not just for Southwark, but for the whole of London and beyond."
The winning boroughs for 2019 and 2020 will announced next month.
A new website for the local community, which explains the council's plans for the regeneration of Old Kent Road, has been launched