Exclusive first look at Alan Partridge gorilla set to join GoGoGorillas! troop in Norwich
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Aha! The newest member of Norwich's gorilla art trail is today revealed as a very special tribute to the city's man of the moment, the hapless radio presenter Alan Partridge.
Norwich is set to be centre-stage on Wednesday as the world premiere of the new Alan Partridge film Alpha Papa takes place at the Hollywood Cinema in Anglia Square, with the man himself - Steve Coogan in real life - set to grace the red carpet.
And not too far away will be the 54th member of the city's GoGoGorillas! trail - raising funds for Break and the Born Free Foundation - which is set to be unveiled close to the cinema.
As this first exclusive picture shows, the latest addition to the troop, Alan, is an impressive tribute.
It is the seventh gorilla artist Phil Daniels has been involved in creating, and he spent about three days working with his daughter Sam on the Partridge masterpiece - sponsored by Norwich estate agents abbotFox - in his Cawston studio.
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'We have remodelled the whole face of the gorilla to get it to look like Alan Partridge,' he said.
'The brief was to make it look as much like Alan Partridge as possible and it was quite a challenge because he hasn't really got many defining features like, for example, Bradley Wiggins and his sideburns.
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'We looked at the film clips, and picked the headphones and jacket he wears, then it was about trying to get his facial expression.
'I'm really pleased with it - we are really pleased that we have managed to capture some of his facial expressions.
'There was a moment when we were working when we were like, 'that's Alan.''
GoGoGorillas! organisers Break decided to look at creating an Alan Partridge gorilla in the wake of the now-resolved controversy surrounding the Freddie Mercury-inspired gorilla.
When Freddie's future looked uncertain in the trail, the Evening News asked what would be a good replacement - and an Alan Partridge tribute was the runaway favourite from readers.
In our online poll, a tribute to the fictional radio presenter came first with 32pc of the votes, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray second with 19pc, Stephen Fry third with 17pc, departing Canaries skipper Grant Holt fourth with 16pc, and cookery queen Delia Smith in fifth place on 14pc.
GoGoGorillas! project manager Martin Green said our readers' views helped with deciding who would inspire the 54th gorilla.
He said: 'Following on from that we decided to do a 54th gorilla and that it would be a tribute to Alan Partridge.
'It is brilliant to have another gorilla on the trail and especially exciting to have an Alan Partridge gorilla with the film premiere taking place here in Norwich.'
Ivor Newman, a partner at abbotFox based in Upper King Street, said the artists had done a phenomenal job, and revealed Alan may move to different places during the trail.
He said: 'Everyone has been taken by the gorillas, and we are excited and feel privileged to be involved with GoGoGorillas! which is really putting Norwich on the map.
'After Anglia Square, Alan will be going to our offices for a period and we are open to suggestions for where he goes after that. People should include a valid reason with their suggestion.'
• Email suggestions to email@example.com
• For more details on the trail visit www.gogogorillas.co.uk