Celebrate a pros-paw-rous Chinese New Year with famous Britons

News, Pictures12 Feb 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, 1 FEBRUARY 2018 – According to the Chinese calendar, 2018 is the year of the Dog. According to official statistics1&2, the pet population in the UK was an estimated 57 million in 2016, and with one in seven people living in the UK owning a dog, it’s clear that dogs are Britain’s favourite pet. Not as widely-known, however, is the fact that many famous Britons themselves were born in the Year of the Dog! In honour of the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays, British Airways has put together stories about British celebrities born in the Year of the Dog, and amazing travel destinations inspired by them.

Chinese New Year is all about reuniting with families and friends. As an airline that connects people, British Airways encourages travellers from Malaysia to welcome the Chinese New Year with a visit to a destination overseas with their families and friends. British Airways’ list of famous Britons-inspired destinations can be easily reached with seamless flight connections at London Heathrow.

Vivian Tan-Loh, British Airways’ country manager for Malaysia, said: “Many famous Britons, particularly in the arts and culture scene, were born in the Year of the Dog. British Airways would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of them and their invaluable contributions and success not only to the UK but also to the world.”

London cityscape including Big Ben and Millennium Wheel near New Cross
London cityscape including Big Ben and Millennium Wheel near New Cross

1. Gary Oldman (1958)

Oldman’s outstanding portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour may largely be due to his proximity to the subject and the fact that both Sir Winston Churchill and Oldman were born in the Year of the Dog! Born in New Cross, London3, Oldman can be considered a true-blue Londoner. He studied acting at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance4 located within the majestic Lamorbey House. In the warmer summer months, visitors are treated to a variety of theatre and drama performed on the surrounding grounds. Visitors may take a one-hour ride from the College to watch these performances. The College also holds an annual showcase performed by undergraduates for the annual London Season at Stratford Circus Arts Centre. This is held throughout the month of March.


2. David Bowie (1947)

Although he was born in 1947, rock music legend, David Bowie, caught the tail-end of the Year of the Dog. A consummate artiste, Bowie dominated the music scene for over five decades with his innovative and flamboyant pieces. Of his many acclaims, a high point of Bowie’s career was when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, in 19965. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the crown jewel of Cleveland’s cultural scene and the mecca for fans of rock and roll from around the world. This 55,000 square feet iconic architecture entertains half a million visitors annually, exhibiting instruments, personal effects, costumes, and lyric sheets of the inductees.

British Airways flies daily to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport out of London Heathrow.

Times Square midtown manhattan, New York City. USA
Times Square midtown manhattan, New York City. USA

3. Dame Maggie Smith (1934)

The reigning Queen of the English film industry and dramas, Dame Maggie Smith was born in 1934, which is also the year of the Dog. Best remembered recently as the sharp- tongued Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey. Dame Maggie Smith has starred over a hundred roles in her illustrious career. Nonetheless, like all consummate actors, her professional debut on Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New Faces of ’566 must be one of her more significant moments. Travellers from Malaysia can trace the steps of Dame Maggie Smith when travelling to New York. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre is located on W47th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

British Airways flies daily to JFK Airport via London Heathrow

4. Dame Judi Dench (1934)

Better known as “M” in the James Bond movies and recently starring in Murder on the Orient Express, Judi Dench was born in York, England7, in the Year of the Dog. A historic walled city in the northeast of England, York was founded by the ancient Romans. The city boasts an iconic 13th century Gothic cathedral, the York Minster. It is also one of the finest medieval buildings in Europe, with its medieval stained glasses, two functioning bell towers and stone masterpieces. York also offers visitors a fascinating interactive underground museum known as the Undercroft where one is given an overview of the city’s history spanning two millennia. If you are claustrophobic, head on out to the Monk Bar Gate which houses an exhibition tracing the life of King Richard III.

British Airways flies directly from Kuala Lumpur to London daily. Travellers can easily reach York by a two-hour train or bus ride from London.

Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill

5. Sir Winston Churchill (1874)

Churchill is indisputably one of the UK’s most famous Prime Ministers. Born in 1874, Churchill himself was also a dog lover. He had a bulldog named DoDo and a poodle which he called Rufus8. After the World War II, a British-American sculptor Lawrence Holofcener casted a bronze sculpture of Churchill and Roosevelt named “Allies Sculpture”9 to celebrate the two heroes. Sharing the space with the “Allies Sculpture” is another British icon, the Paddington Bear. These statues are located on Bond Street, London. Look out for them when you are next in London!

British Airways flies daily from Kuala Lumpur to London on its four-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

British Airways has just announced that it is investing £4.5 billion for customers over the next five years, covering the installation of the best quality Wi-Fi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline is also investing £600 million specifically in its Club World business class, including outstanding catering and luxurious White Company bedding, plus, from 2019, a new seat with direct aisle access. This year British Airways will start services to six new routes including Nashville and The Seychelles. For more information please visit ba.com.