Merry Christmas, Birmingham!… Visitors to New Street station will be greeted by a life-size Lego recreation of one of the Midlands’ most famous musicians this Christmas.
Slade frontman Noddy Holder – best known for writing the Christmas anthem Merry Xmas Everybody – has been recreated in his famous yellow and red 1970s glam-rock suit using more than 43,000 Lego bricks, taking over 260 hours to build.
The colourful Noddy sculpture has been commissioned by Retail BID Birmingham, the Business Improvement District for the city centre retail area, and is in aid of the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, with Noddy selfie-snappers encouraged to donate to the charity and support the #momentsofmagic campaign.
Noddy, from Walsall, has one of the most recognisable voices in rock music and his ‘It’s Christmas!’ chant during Merry Xmas Everybody has become an instantly recognisable seasonal staple.
Slade rose to prominence during the glam rock era in the early 1970s, securing 17 consecutive top 20 hits and six number ones. The British Hit Singles & Albums names them as the most successful British group of the 1970s based on sales of singles, while Merry Xmas Everybody has been called the best Christmas single of all time by several music publications.
The band built a fanbase around the world and became as famous for their flamboyant clothing and live performances as they did their chart-topping singles. Noddy has stayed loyal to his West Midlands roots, and is the proud recipient of an MBE for his services to music.
Retail BID has funded the Lego sculpture, which was designed by Bright Bricks, the UK’s only specialist Lego builders.
In addition to colourful new LED lighting on trees on New Street, High Street and Lower Temple Street the Lego statue is another attraction unveiled by the BID to help brighten the city centre during the Christmas shopping period.
The BID is also keen to raise awareness of the outstanding work at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where ‘Moments of Magic’ happen every single day.
Whether it’s a ground-breaking piece of medical research, the sound of a patient giggling as they’re entertained in their bed or the sight of them playing in a newly-refurbished playroom, this Christmas the hospital’s charity is on a mission to make sure even more of these magical moments happen – not just at Christmas, but all year round.
Noddy Holder said: “I’m really chuffed! It’s a great honour to have the statue made and I know a lot of hours have gone into it. The fact that it is helping to raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity at Christmas time makes it feel extra special.”
Steve Hewlett from Retail BID said “The retailers wanted to create something fun that everyone visiting the city could enjoy and also raise money for the children’s hospital. The statue has been designed from an original band photo of Slade and it’s a tribute to a much-loved song and made from one of the most popular toys at Christmas.”
Serena Daw, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are so incredibly grateful to Noddy Holder and Retail BID Birmingham for supporting the 90,000 sick kids treated at our hospital every year in this truly magical way.
“Noddy is a local legend who is synonymous with Christmas and this iconic Lego statue is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face as they walk past. We would like to urge everyone who takes a moment to enjoy Noddy’s lifesize statue to think about the sick kids in our hospital this Christmas and to consider making a donation to help us make every moment magical for them.”
For more information on Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s Christmas campaign, Moments of Magic, visit bch.org.uk/christmas or text MAGIC to 70456 to donate £5.