Back in the summer of 2011, sixty-one multi-coloured gorillas appeared on the streets Bristol. No, it wasn’t Bristolians suffering a mass psychedelic hallucination (although that happens), it was the Wow! Gorillas trail; an art project organised by Bristol Zoo to raise money for the Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal for Bristol Children’s Hospital. Locals and tourists bought maps to travel round the city to find the gorilla statues at well known landmarks. At the end of the event the gorillas (painted by local artists and celebrities and sponsored by local businesses) were auctioned off to raise a whopping £427,300.
The whole thing was such a success that this year Bristol, the home of Aardman Animations, is repeating the experience with Bristol’s most famous canine citizen doing the posing. Yes, Gromit Unleashed will feature 80(!) Gromits on display from July 1st to September 8th all over the city. This year the celebrities include One Direction’s Zayn Malik and the mighty Joanna Lumley.
Now, apart from being a jolly good cause, we expect you’re wondering what-in-the-name-of-Stan-Lee this has to do with Starburst. Well if Joanna Lumley’s Hammer Horror, James Bond and Avengers track-record isn’t enough, and if Gromit’s starring role in Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) just doesn’t cut the horror-connected mustard for you, then you’ll want to know about the promotional film: A Grand Tail (2013). This comedy epic stars Starburst writer John Knott in the role of Geoff the hapless delivery man. You see? That’s the Starburst connection. The plot involves Tom and Geoff having to deliver a Gromit statue with hilarious consequences. Think The Plank (1967) with Gromit replacing the titular piece of wood. If Starburst writers aren’t obvious by their appearance, he’s the fat hairy one in the glasses.
We got an exclusive interview with Knott about the movie-making experience.
“The Clifton Suspension Bridge might be a miracle of nineteenth century engineering and a beautiful icon of this fine city”, he said, “but, trust me, at your actual half-five in the bloody morning, its charm is somewhat lost”.
So there we have it. John got out of bed early; please make the video go viral. Comedy Gold and a Good Cause.
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