Bolton is aiming to become a city. To mark town's ambitious and to show any doubters they are wrong, we look at the reasons why Bolton is so amazing.

1 With a population of more than 261,000 we are one of the biggest towns in the country that isn't a city.

2 Never mind Britannia...Bolton rules the airwaves. The town has the unique distinction of breeding many of the BBC's top radio DJs -- from Sara Cox and Vernon Kay to Mark Radcliffe. And if that's not enough, keen Wanderers fan Victoria Derbyshire is a Radio Five star.

3 Boltonians are officially the friendliest people in Britain. An internet-based survey once carried out by the British Society for the Advancement of Science put us top for warmth, care and consideration.

4 We might also be the funniest. Britain's favourite comedian Peter Kay is Bolton through and through as is his Phoenix Nights co-star, popular stand up Dave Spikey.

5 We are no slouches in the literary stakes either. Former Bolton School pupil Monica Ali narrowly missed out on the Booker Prize with bestselling debut novel Brick Lane. Other noteworthy scribes include Alfie author Bill Naughton and nostalgic novelist Ruth Hamilton.

6 Mercury Music Prize-winning musician Badly Drawn Boy - real name Damon Gough - spent his formative years in Breightmet.

7 Bolton has one of the top mountain rescue teams in the country - despite not having any mountains.

8 Bolton Wanderers are helping keep the town in the Premiership. As one of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888 and winners of the first Wembley FA Cup Final in 1923 the Whites have been a proud part of the history of the game. Even if they are having a wonky season.

9 Bolton's own Bank Top Brewery has won plaudits with its prize ales such as Golddigger and Flat Cap. The Howcroft Inn also hosts Britain's largest pub-based beer festival.

10 Little known fact: The ice cream wafer sandwich was invented in Bolton.

11 Ye Olde Pastie Shoppe is a veritable Bolton institution which started life as a butcher's shop in 1667. The queues outside every day say it all.

12 The town has also been a hotbed for acting talent. Pick of the crop is the man now known to millions of film fans as Gandalf, former Bolton School pupil Sir Ian McKellen.

13 Playing host to badminton and mountain biking events in 2002's Commonwealth Games and the great World Champion boxer Amir Khan fights at Bolton Arena show we can rise to the occasion to host world class sport.

14 Bolton-born Sir Harry Kroto won the 1996 Nobel Prize for inventing Carbon 60 - a substance which revolutionised civil engineering because it is both stronger and lighter than steel.

15 We have a history of invention, including Samuel Crompton of spinning mule fame.

16 Images of cobbles and chimneys are way off the mark. Visitors are constantly surprised by the majesty of the West Pennine Moors and beauty spots such as the Jumbles Reservoir.

17 Down-to-earth Fred Dibnah helped put Bolton on the map with his infectious television musings on all things industrial. And his memory lives on with the ace statue in Newport Street.

18 Built in the 1930s Le Mans Crescent's imposing sweep is one of the town's most distinctive features. Bath - eat your heart out... if you have one.

19 Bolton is one of a handful of towns whose roundabouts were featured on a cult calendar which sold thousands. We shared the 'honour' with the likes of Milton Keynes and Swindon.

20 Global sports company Reebok began life in a cobblers store in Deane. Joe Foster first hit on the idea of driving nails through shoes -- the forerunners of modern day spikes - in 1895.

21 We were at the heart of the industrial revolution which propelled Lancashire to world significance. The cotton industry in Bolton was so thriving that the prospectus for the Manchester-Liverpool railway even talked about "that most prosperous of towns, Bolton."

22 They aren't quite Tutankhamun's treasures but Bolton Museum has the finest collection of Egyptian artefacts this side of London.

23 Little known fact two: Most disposable bedpans in the world are made in Bolton by Vernacare.

24 The Guide Dogs For The Blind Association training centre in Heaton, has helped hundreds of visually impaired people including Home Secretary David Blunkett. His latest dog Sadie and her predecessor Lucy were both put through their paces there.

25 The town is becoming a popular destination for day trippers and conference guests. Figures put the annual tourist figure at 7.5 million.

26 Bolton's Asian entrepreneurs have helped spice up the nation's cuisine. Meena and Kirit Pathak, of Heaton, run Patak's (they dropped the 'h' to make it less 'ard to pronounce) supply their authentic Asian food to 90 per cent of the country's Indian restaurants. And Indian emporium House of Raja also has tourists flocking.

27 From Johnny 'Think of a Number' Ball and Crackerjack's Stu 'Crush a Grape' Francis through to Vernon Kay, Boltonians have been among the kings of kids' TV.

28 Items made in Bolton get everywhere. The doors of the 19th Century Imperial Ottoman Bank Museum in Istanbul, for example, read: "Chatwoods of Bolton."

29 Burnden Park, former home of Bolton Wanderers, is depicted in Going to the Match -at £1.9 million - the most expensive LS Lowry painting ever sold.

30 Former world snooker champion John Spencer and potting playboy Tony Knowles both learned to master the green baize in Bolton.

31 When much-loved comedian Billy Connolly needed a motorbike to travel round Britain for his TV series, he turned to Boom Trikes of Morris Green Business Centre.

32 Britain's largest independent bakers Warburtons produces more than two million rolls, loaves and crumpets every day.

33 Fine buildings from our industrial past hare being converted into the stylish apartments of the present. The Eagley Mills development in grade II-listed mills won awards.

34 Historian Prof Norman Davies, who wrote The Isles: A History , a monumental 1,200 page history which proved a bestseller, keeps his home town close to his heart. In it he wrote: "God had blessed Bolton with the purest water for washing cloth, and the blackest coal to fire the steam engines."

35 Bolton One is a fine development befitting any wannabe city. And the Market Place turned out pretty nice.

36 Bolton can hold its own in the eccentricity stakes. Darcy Lever residents once vied to see who could throw a potato the furthest over a disused railway viaduct.

37 We have arguably the most zealous parking wardens in the world!

38 Bolton's charter was granted more than 750 years ago and that made Bolton a free borough underlining our rich history.

39 With more than 2,000 members Bolton Lads and Girls Club is thriving. The range of activities available at the club's £3.7 million base is sure to guarantee its continuing popularity.

40 The Octagon Theatre is renowned as one of the best provincial theatres in England. Amateur groups such as Bolton Little Theatre and the Phoenix Theatre Company also contribute to the town's thriving theatre scene.

41 We're top brass too. Smithills School Brass band have won world championships.

42 Bolton has had some of the brightest athletics talent in the country. Steeplechaser Stuart Stokes, sprinter Amy Spencer and middle distance runner Tom Lancashire have all represented England. And Jason Kenny is one top cyclist. And the Ironman contest is held here every year.

43 Bolton sucks. But only because one of Hoover's worldwide service bases is in Bury Road Industrial Estate.

44 Soap King Lord Leverhulme was born in town centre Wood Street. The Sunlight Soap founder cleaned up in the business world and went on to fund the rebuilding of Bolton School.

45 And when it comes to TV soaps we don't do too badly either. Corrie's Andrew Whyment and Holby City's Ian Aspinall all hail from Bolton. And we can't forget Amy Nuttall, Sammy Winward and Helen Flannagan.

46 Boltonians know how to uphold traditions. Since the 1800s generations of townsfolk have made the annual piligrimage up Rivington Pike.

47 We might be next door to Manchester but we've managed to retain our own sense of identity. Maybe we should pinch their wheel.

48 Acclaimed playwright Jim Cartwright is another local hero. The former Harper Green pupil penned The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, on which the film Little Voice starring Michael Caine and Jane Horrocks was based.

49 Founded in 1867, The Bolton News has been at the forefront of keeping people in touch with what's going on in the town.

50 The most famous quote in British sporting history was uttered by a Bolton commentator. When England won the World Cup in 1966 it was Farnworth-born Kenneth Wolstenholme who uttered the immortal words "There's some people on the pitch. They think it's all is now."