Ken Hom OBE was invited to become an ambassador for the GREAT Britain campaign in recognition of his personal support and contribution to the UK’s most ambitious international promotional campaign ever. The GREAT Britain campaign showcases the very best of what Britain to offer to encourage the world to visit and do business with the UK, to deliver jobs and growth at home.
Widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest authorities on oriental cooking, Ken Hom, now 65, introduced and demystified Chinese cooking to the UK exactly 30 years ago, in 1984, with his first BBC television series ‘Cooking with a Hot Wok’. The book accompanying the series became a bible for anyone who wanted to learn Chinese cuisine and sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide, at a time when non-fiction books could sell around 350,000 copies. Over seven million Ken Hom woks have been sold in 59 countries worldwide and with one in eight Britons owing a Ken Hom wok, he also had and continues to have a great impact on the UK economy.
Ken Hom was amongst an of elite of prestigious ambassadors hosted by the Prime Minister at Downing Street earlier in December for the first GREAT ambassadors, at which the PM recognised the importance of their contribution to the GREAT Britain campaign, and encouraged them to continue their involvement.
Commenting on his appointment, Ken Hom said: ‘I am extremely proud and passionate to be part of such a far-reaching campaign and ready to give it my full support even during my travels to Europe and the Far East. This is also my way of giving back something to the UK, a country which ‘adopted’ me long ago and where I have always felt most at home when celebrating Chinese New Year’.
The GREAT Britain campaign has delivered a direct return to the economy of over £1bn and is now active in 144 countries. Unifying the international growth promotion efforts of UK Trade & Investment, VisitBritain, British Council, FCO and a number of other departments, GREAT aims to deliver significant and long-term increases in trade, tourism, education and inward investment in support of HMG’s prosperity and growth agenda.