September 18 2014 Latest news:
Friday, October 4, 2013
After a summer spent lighting up the city of Norwich the colourful troop of gorillas bid a glittering farewell by raising £272,300 at the GoGoGorillas! charity auction.
Top earners at the event included Freddie Radio Go Go Gorilla, representing Freddie Mercury, who went for a massive £20,000 and Mr Carrow which sold for £17,000. Another favourite, the Alan Partridge gorilla, made £5,000.
Carl Moore, a lifelong Norwich City fan from Lowestoft, outbid the club’s chief executive David McNally for Mr Carrow. “I was going to have it whatever happened and to make it even better I was bidding against David McNally. That was the absolute ultimate. I’m really pleased that I got the piece I wanted.”
All proceeds are being donated to Norfolk charity Break and wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation.
The colourful primates which decorated the city’s streets from June to September and gained a huge following of fans during the 11-week trail, were together for one final time last night for the grand finale of the GoGoGorillas! project.
About 500 people packed into the Forum in Norwich for the auction, all eager to see how much money the celebrity apes would make for children’s charity Break – which organised GoGoGorillas! with Wild in Art – and the Born Free Foundation.
Norfolk TV presenter and Break patron Jake Humphrey was the host for the evening, and he paid tribute to the amazing success of GoGoGorillas!
He said: “I remember when I first started talking to Break about this and they were saying they were going to fill the streets of Norwich with gorillas and it was going to be a really special couple of months.
“At no time did I really cotton on to just how big it would become and how much it would mean to people.
“To think that over one million people have done the trail and seen the gorillas and enjoyed them – it’s just been bigger and more impressive that I could ever have imagined.”
He said after so many people had enjoyed the trail the auction was a chance for people to give something back to Break.
Jake said he had enjoyed doing the trail with his family. “My wife, of course, had to have the obligatory photo of the one with my face on it which was a bit embarrassing!”
He said it was great that people had had so much pride in the gorilla trail and that 2013 would be remembered as a special summer for Norwich – and he joked that next he would like to see a trail of 65 16ft statues of Stephen Fry in Norwich or have Alan Partridges on the steps of City Hall.
As bidding got under way, one by one Bling Kong, Batgrill, The Ape’d Crusader, Optimus Primate, Alan and the rest of the gang took centre stage as they were auctioned off by TW Gaze auctioneer Mike Sarson.
Martin Green, project manager for GoGoGorillas! said: “It’s absolutely amazing. We could not have anticipated the generosity of people. It’s going to change what Break does. This had offered a really big chunk of money to change young people’s lives.
“This is two years of hard work. Thank you so much to everyone.”
Norfolk TV presenter and Break patron Jake Humphrey was the host for the evening, and he paid tribute to the amazing success of GoGoGorillas! “Just like the rest of the GoGoGorillas! project this has exceeded all expectations. It shows just how much the GoGoGorillas! mean to people.”
He said it was especially interesting was how much all the gorillas with Norfolk scenes on them went for and that it showed how proud people are of Norfolk.
“It was a really special night,” he said, adding that had bought the Lilly Gorilly gorilla.
“This shows that with with big thinking a charity the size of Break can make a real difference.
The main thing I really want is for this entire GoGoGorillas! Project to make Break even more well known and talked about across the county.”
GoGoGorillas! started about two years ago and was achieved by an array of artists, businesses, organisations and other members of the community working together.