Calling all quirky collectors

Article date: 30 January 2009

  • Insurer launches search for unusual stars

Norwich Union is set to get curtains twitching by throwing open the doors to some of the UK's most weird and wonderful collections as it launches a search for closet collectors to come forward and star in a new film.

The UK's largest insurer is seeking images and anecdotes of the country's quirkiest collections to be uploaded onto, the best will feature in a short online movie celebrating eccentric collectors. 

And to ensure the best entrants have extra cash in their wallets to pursue their passion, Norwich Union, soon to be Aviva, is giving the five winners £500 each. It is also offering free contents insurance to new customers when they buy buildings insurance.*

So if you're mad about memorabilia, crazy about comics or barmy about beer mats this is the competition for you!

Angela Rippon, one of the best known faces and voices in British broadcasting has been enlisted to champion the search for the best Quirky Collectors. She has her own proud collection of seemingly ordinary items made unusual by its scale. 

If you were to go down to Angela's house you'd be in for a big surprise - she's a collector of teddy bears. Angela has 26 bears (not all on her bed!); though at one point she had more than 80 of them! 

Angela says: "My love of teddy bears started at the age of three when I was given a fifty year-old teddy by a family friend. He's over a hundred years old now and worn round the edges, but like my love of teddy bears he's still going strong. I've been fortunate to have many teddy bears given to me but sometimes I still find bears I can't resist - or maybe they find me!

"I'm sure there are plenty of people across the UK who've got a collection they cherish as much as me.  I'd love to see and hear about what you collect, so upload images of your collections on to the website and let us know how it all started and what it means to you."

Also joining Norwich Union's search is cricket legend, Michael Vaughan. Not surprisingly Michael's collection is of the sporting variety. He has an entire room in his home dedicated to his collection of football and cricket memorabilia that he began in 1993 - including a prized signed bat from record-breaking cricketer Brian Lara! It all started with a shirt from his first game playing for Yorkshire, the team he still represents today.

"I became obsessed with collecting sporting memorabilia early on in my career and it's something I've built up over the past 16 years.  The collection is something of a series of mementos from what has been an amazing journey for me in my career, however I've also been adding to it over the years with items from other sports, particularly football - the best one being a shirt from my all time sporting hero - Pele."

"I'm appearing in a film about people's cherished collections and we're looking for members of the public to be part of it. If you have a collection that you're proud of, upload images on to the website and tell us why you should be included."

To see pictures of the famous pair and their collections log on to

And to enter simply log on to and upload a picture of you and your collection for your chance to win £500 and star in a short online film with Michael and Angela. Entries close at midnight on Friday 20 February 2009. 


For further information contact:
Frank PR 
Telephone: 0207 693 6999 

Rebecca Holmes
Norwich Union Press Office
Telephone: 01603 685177
Mobile: 07800 690731

Images and broadcast clips:
Available for free download at or upon request from the above contacts.

Notes to editors:

* The offer applies for all new Norwich Union buildings and contents home insurance policies when you have been claim free for 3 or more years on your current buildings and contents insurance.

Norwich Union is the UK's largest general insurer with a market share of around 15%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment products and one of the largest financial adviser (FA) providers. FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK.

In the summer of 2009 Norwich Union will change its name to Aviva.  Aviva is the world's fifth largest insurance group and operates in 27 countries. Aviva is to become the customer brand worldwide, thus enabling the company to compete even more effectively on a global scale for the benefit of customers, staff, business partners and shareholders.

Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at

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