Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 16:00

One of Roald Dahl’s best-loved characters will be appearing at the Eden Project in the form of a life-size Lego model as part of a global event to celebrate the famous children’s author.

The 8,850-brick model of the intrepid hero from Billy and the Minpins will be unveiled in the Mediterranean Biome on Roald Dahl Day next Wednesday, September 13.

It coincides with the iconic storyteller’s last book being republished by Penguin Random House next week with - for the first time - illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake.

The Lego build of Billy which took 47 hours to construct is one of six Roald Dahl child heroes appearing in locations across the UK, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s protagonist at Manchester Central Library to the brave heroine of The BFG, Sophie, at the National Trust’s Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

All the models have been created by Duncan Titmarsh - the UK’s only certified Lego professional builder - and his team at the Bright Bricks workshop in Bordon, Hampshire.

Roald Dahl Day happens annually, on and around September 13, the author’s birthday, and this year the event shines the spotlight onto the much-loved child heroes he created. 

Billy will remain at Eden for two months and visitors can see him as part of normal admission in the run-up to Halloweden which this year has a Roald Dahl theme. 

Everyone is encouraged to share their pictures of Billy using #LegoBilly and #RoaldDahlDay on social media. 

Kate Francis, Eden’s programme producer, said: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming Billy from Billy and the Minpins to Eden at the same time as the book is getting renewed interest with it being republished with incredible illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake.

“I’m sure everyone who has read Roald Dahl stories will be intrigued to see Billy here as an example of one of the author’s great and distinct young heroes.”

Bernie Hall from Roald Dahl’s Literary Estate said: “We are so thrilled that Billy will be making his way to the Eden Project. It’s the perfect location for him, as his story is so rooted in the wonder of the natural world, and a brilliant way to celebrate Billy and all Roald Dahl’s amazing child heroes this Roald Dahl Day.”

Roald Dahl’s first children’s story, James and the Giant Peach, was published in 1961 and was a hit with every subsequent book becoming a best-seller.

Today, his stories are available in 58 languages and he has sold more than 250 million books with many of his stories having been adapted for stage and screen, including the 1971 film classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wes Anderson’s acclaimed Fantastic Mr Fox and Steven Spielberg’s spectacular adaptation of The BFG.

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