Commonwealth Games: Birmingham bull a tourist attraction

    A giant mechanical bull that featured in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham has gone on display in the city centre, and is already proving to be an attraction.

    But the future of the bull is not certain, with the team that built the piece expecting it to be dismantled after the Games finish.

    In the meantime, the bull has been given a police escort from Perry Barr where the Alexander Stadium hosted the Games’ opening ceremony. It arrived in the city centre on Friday morning, providing a big surprise for visitors and workers in Centenary Square.

    And it is already a selfie magnet.

    “[The bull is] too big to easily store anywhere,” said Mike Kelt, from special effects company Artem.

    “There’s bits in it that have to be taken out, so if it was going to exist forever, somebody would have to pay for those bits to stay in it.

    “That isn’t an enormous sum of money, but I think storage is the problem. And to move it somewhere is also a problem. It takes quite a bit of effort to move it.

    “And being 10 metres high, there aren’t many places you can move it. It can duck down a bit, but that’s about it.”

    Mr Kelt admitted to some “head-scratching” after being commissioned to build the bull.

    “The first thing is it has to stand up, so how are you going to make it stand up?” he said.

    “It has to walk, it has to move its legs. It obviously has to [work as a puppet].

    “That almost inevitably led, at least in my mind, to a telehandler underneath.”

    So the bull was carried around the stadium by a 17-tonne vehicle, prompting gasps of wonderment among the 30,000 people inside the stadium, along with a huge, combined TV audience.

    And that, Mr Kelt said, was “obviously the reaction we wanted”.

    Mr Kelt added, however, he could not be certain of the reaction, saying: “You’re never very sure. You’re too close to these things to really get a feel for it.

    “You hope that it hits the spot and you do everything you can to make it work, so it is very gratifying when it happens.

    “I think it’s beyond what we expected.”

    The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games run until Monday 8 August.