Queen For A Day: LHR Baggage Handlers Commemorate Workmate Freddie Mercury
Graeme Peto, Open Jaw
Nearly 50 years ago, long before he became the legendary lead singer of the British band Queen, Freddie Mercury worked a real-world job as a baggage handler at London's Heathrow Airport.
To commemorate what would have been Mercury’s 72nd birthday, Heathrow Airport partnered with British Airways and a veteran choreographer to produce the “Freddie for a Day” tribute. Together, they hosted a rock-out performance of yellow jacket and fake Mercury mustache-wearing baggage handlers timed to Queen’s hit song, “I Want to Break Free.”
Under the charge of British choreographer Lyndon Lloyd (who has worked with "Strictly Come Dancing" and "The X Factor"), the Heathrow baggage handlers practiced their Mercury moves in preparation for yesterday's big debut.
“Freddie Mercury was a truly British icon," said Virinder Bansal, a Heathrow baggage service manager. "I am delighted to ‘Break Free’ and celebrate his iconic life with my colleagues.”
The live version of the dance occurred in Heathrow's Terminal 5 where Queen songs played throughout the day. There was even an open invitation to the British Airways first-class lounge for any passengers departing Terminal 5 named Freddie, Frederick, or Mercury’s actual first name -- Farrokh.
To honour Mercury's legacy, Queen and Mercury-related memorabilia will go on display next month in the Heathrow Terminal 5 departures area. The event was planned in promotion of the film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a “foot-stomping celebration of Queen and Freddie Mercury,” which opens in November.