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Steps star Ian ‘H’ Watkins to be honoured with statue in local town

Local action group Cultural Cowbridge have unveiled plans for an 8ft statue in honour of pop star and local resident Ian ‘H’ Watkins, from the band Steps. Funded by private donations and designed by a local artist, the installation of the 8ft statue outside the Bear Hotel in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, will acknowledge and commemorate the popstar, actor and broadcaster’s contribution to British music and his ongoing impact on Cowbridge itself. The Bear Hotel was chosen for its central location at the heart of Cowbridge, on the vibrant main street of the town.

Cultural Cowbridge hope to install and officially unveil the statue in June to coincide with Cowbridge Pride, the annual Pride event which ‘H’ founded in 2022. Alongside Cultural Cowbridge, ‘H’ also sits on the Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council and is a key figure in the local community.

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Ian ‘H’ Watkins is an actor, singer, presenter and most famously one fifth of the Brit Award winning pop group Steps. With 14 consecutive top five singles, 25m in record sales and seven sold-out national arena tours under their belts, Steps are the UK’s most successful mixed-sex pop group of all time.



An artist's impression of the statue of Ian 'H' Watkins
An artist’s impression of the statue of Ian ‘H’ Watkins

Alongside his work with Steps, ‘H’ has worked extensively on stage, with West End and theatre credits including Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat, Fame, Chitty Bang Bang, Make Me A Song and many more. In 2014 he wowed audiences and judges alike on the BBC Saturday night show Tumble in which he stormed his way to the finals. In 2020 Ian made TV history by being one half of the first ever same-sex couples to perform on ITV’s Dancing On Ice, and he presents his own weekly radio show Friday Night H for BBC Radio Wales.

Ian ‘H’ Watkins said: “When I got the e-mail informing me, I fell off my chair. This is one of my proudest moments – not bad for a Welsh lad lots of people think is as daft as a toilet brush. I love calling Cowbridge my home and I’m very passionate about doing my bit to help make it a better, more inclusive, superb place to live. I’m so, so grateful to Cultural Cowbridge and all the donors who have helped make this possible. I look forward to walking down the street and waving at myself.”

Bethan Davies, from Cultural Cowbridge, said: “We can think of nobody more deserving of this fantastic initiative than Ian ‘H’ Watkins, and look forward to installing the statue pride of place in the centre of Cowbridge. When we discreetly began to seek private investment to realise this dream, we were overwhelmed at the response – 5, 6, 7, even 8 people immediately came forward with very generous donations.” For the latest Welsh news delivered to your inbox sign up to our newsletter

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