Birmingham needs to improve its poor public image if it is to become a major tourist attraction, the head of a group tasked with promoting the city has said.
The city will be featured on the BBC's Holiday programme tonight (7pm). The programme features weekend breaks in Brum alongside skiing trips in Aspen, diving holidays in the Red Sea and driving tours round the mountains of Turin.
Speaking about the filming of the Birmingham holiday guide, Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen said: "I want to be the first person in the world to make a glamorous film about Birmingham, but hopefully not the last.
"We've made a film in the exact same way we would have made a film about Paris or Rome. They've got something going on here which is fascinating."
In the programme, he shows how the city has changed since Prince Charles described it as a "monstrous concrete maze, where only the cars can find their way" in 1988.
"Birmingham has emerged from its concrete chrysalis," Mr Llewellyn Bowen insisted.
Dave Hodgson, the marketing director of Marketing Birmingham, said he hoped the city being featured on television would help it overtake cities like Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool and York in attracting leisure tourists.
In a recent survey, the majority of people asked said they consider Manchester to be more high profile than Birmingham, with 48 per cent of people saying they considered Manchester to be the country's "second city", even though it is less than half the size of Birmingham.
The city made #2.3 billion from leisure tourists in 2005, the most recent figures available, but this figure could be higher, and is overshadowed by the city's reputation as a destination for business travellers, Mr Hodgson said.
"Business tourism is much stronger at the moment," he said. "Over the last few years we have not been seen as a leisure tourism destination.
He blames the city's poor public image, which Marketing Birmingham is hoping to change.
Mr Hodgson said he often saw people surprised at how much they enjoyed Birmingham when they were exposed to it.
He is hoping to encourage international travellers to visit the city, as well as Brits on weekend breaks. Newspapers from as far away as Washington, D.C. and Mumbai have published articles on the city as a tourist spot.
He added that Birmingham was an ideal city for holidays, and tourists who came to visit were likely to return.
"In ten years' time I want people to see Birmingham as a stylish city that literally has something for everyone, somewhere where people can come and enjoy themselves in a friendly atmosphere," he said.
It won't be the first time telly has sung the praises of Brum.
In 1979 Telly Savalas provided the voiceover for a film promoting the city. Although, never visiting the Midlands - the Kojak actor recording his track in a London studio - he enthusiastically praised landmarks such as the Bullring, the Rotunda, the Aston Expressway (a "multi-carriageway motorway"), the ring road and the canal network.
The short film has achieved cult status and was released in 1981. It was written and directed by Harold Baim and released to cinemas around the UK as a support to the main feature film.
Richard Jeffs, of the Baim Collection, revealed: "Harold Baim chose to film the city on bright sunny days. He and his cameraman were great believers in the idea that ‘sunshine makes a subject look at its best.’ Harold knew that his films would be seen on big cinema screens and would be shown alongside ‘multi-million pound epics’ often filmed in California or the Mediterranean.
"He therefore tried very hard to make the images in his films match in brightness. I think he succeeded."
Telly Savalas Looks At Birmingham was one of more than 120 short films made by Baim, many of them similar travelogues. Other titles include Pete Murray Takes You To Coventry and Telly Savalas Looks At Aberdeen.
* This website carries an edited version of the film.