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To this Kingdom they come

PUBLISHED: 20:29 17 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:54 08 July 2010

Kingdom fans from Scandinavia were given a first-hand tour of the county and the locations featuring in the TV series as part of an international link-up to promote Swaffham and Norfolk at the weekend.

Kingdom fans from Scandinavia were given a first-hand tour of the county and the locations featuring in the TV series as part of an international link-up to promote Swaffham and Norfolk at the weekend.

NBC Universal broadcaster Hallmark Channel teamed up with Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Tourism to launch a competition to coincide with the second season of the programme in Norway, Denmark and Sweden in mid-April.

Thousands of viewers entered the contest over the last two months and six pairs were selected to stay in Norfolk over the weekend.

Ten viewers, and a couple with a young baby, arrived in the county on Friday, before touring Swaffham and many other Norfolk locations on Saturday.

Representatives from the county council greeted the guests before they headed to their accommodation, provided by hotels in King's Lynn, Hunstanton, Swaffham and Wellingham until Monday.

Christopher How, cabinet member for economic development at the county council, said: “Tourism is the county's largest industry and is worth over £2bn to the local economy. Kingdom has already provided great publicity for Norfolk, even before being screened to international audiences, and we are keen to work with the producers of the show to maximise the positive benefits that the association between the show and the county can bring.”

Martin Hickey, chairman of Swaffham and District Tourism Association, gave the winners a guided tour around Swaffham before they went to various other locations.

Stephen Fry, star of Kingdom, said: “One of the things that excited me about Kingdom was that it was set in a country town - which I think is a much overlooked part of Britain, and of course, that it is set in Norfolk.

“You feel a loyalty to the place you call home, you belong to a part of the world and you think it's gorgeous - especially when it has qualities that you think are different.

“Having been raised in Norfolk, I would be delighted if in some way I could help give something back to the county, and I would encourage viewers of Kingdom - whether in this country or any other, to come and see what this unique and wonderful place has to offer.”

Gunn Haglund, marketing manager of Hallmark Channel, said: “Kingdom is a high-quality production and one of our programme highlights in 2008. The series contains beautiful footage of the Norfolk scenery.”

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