Aylesbury became the centre of the universe for David Bowie fans on Sunday - when Earthly Messenger - the world’s first David Bowie statue was unveiled in town.
The statue is the culmination of a two year crowdfunding campaign led by Friars club chief David Stopps and wife Sue.
The pair raised over £100,000 pledged by fans from all over the world - and renowned sculptor Andrew Sinclair was commissioned to do the work.
Speaking to The Herald on Sunday, Mr Sinclair said: “I had a bit of a crisis two weeks ago, when I realised what I had created.
“You tend to go a bit blind when you work on something for a year, and I’d reached a stage where I couldn’t see Bowie in my work anymore. Other people said they could, but I just couldn’t see it.
“So coming here today, and getting this marvellous reception has rebuilt my confidence completely, so I’d like to thank everyone for their kind words and for coming out to see David.
“David has always played a significant part in my psyche, and I’ve always loved Space Oddity and Life on Mars.
“The process was both parts enjoyable and frustrating. There’s a silver lining to all processes, with good and bad periods of work.
“It’s what I live for, I love the art of sculpting. I get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
“A couple of the portraits were tricky to get, because Bowie was wearing make up! You don’t see make up in clay, you can only add it afterwards.
“The challenge with Ziggy was he is such an interesting character, a mad space man who never appeared in public twice. Every time David used him he changed, and part of the challenge as an artist was to represent him as everyone else remembers him.
“So I tried to nail on the key features, the bangles and gold circle on his forehead. Hopefully people see David in him.”
And David Stopps also spoke to the Herald about the drive to remember Bowie - who played debuted his Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust albums in town - as well as championing Aylesbury as a first stop for acts including talking Heads, Iggy Pop and Blondie.
Mr Stopps said: “It’s been a two year process and since January it’s been absolutely manic.
“Some parts of the journey have been enjoyable, some stressful but I’m so happy we’re now over the line.
“The end of three months of very intense work, but it all seemed to go well today which is great news.
“It’s a great moment for the town, and adds some lovely colour to the town centre. It’s a vindication of everybody’s hard work on the project, and it’s a huge relief things got off without a hitch, well mostly.”
David revealed, however, that things went far from smoothly in the days leading up to the unveiling.
“Even yesterday we were having trouble fitting it to the wall, the blowtorches came out and it took some really advanced engineering to get it in place.
“It looks beautiful, the interesting thing is it comes alive at night, if you get chance you should go and see it at night, it really does look stunning
“I’m exhausted but excited, and looking forward to seeing all my friends at the same show. It’s been a real roller coaster!
“I think it’s time to just relax now, there’s been many sleepless nights. I don’t think my wife will let me do anything for a while now!”
Bowie fans from all over the world travelled to Aylesbury for the unveiling - with an American contingent taking residence in The Bell pub before the unveiling began.
Thousands watched live on this newspaper’s Facebook page too - with fans from as far afield as Saudi Arabia and Australia commenting on our live feed.
The statue itself was unveiled by Marillion leadsinger Steve Hogarth and pop star Howard Jones - who later played a special celebration concert at the Waterside Theatre alongside John Otway and The Dung Beatles.
Speaking to the Herald before the performance madcap Aylesburian John Otway said: “I love David Bowie, and I’ve done a cover of Life on Mars for gig tonight (on Sunday), My dad used to sing him all the time, in a rough northern accent being from Cumbria- graund control t’majort’tom.
“I’m now gigging again, just got back from Leeds and Manchester.
“I love Friars Club, it’s where I had my introduction, I have the honour of playing Friars playing more times than anybody else.
“I think I’ve played about 17 times!
“I’m not the best who’s ever played, or the most musical, but I’ve played there the most! Maybe that’s something to be proud of?!
“I think it’s about time we had a John Otway statue! Surely? What I’d like is a plaque on Michael Street near Oxford Road, a blue plaque in the road next to the word bus lane with John Otway was born here. That would be brilliant!
“It might distract drivers though..”