Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by QASIM PERACHA qasim.peracha@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @qasim­per­acha

Fred­die Mer­cury was a truly Bri­tish icon and I am de­lighted to Break Free and cel­e­brate his iconic life Virinder Bansal

BAG­GAGE han­dlers at Heathrow Air­port cel­e­brated a very fa­mous former col­league’s birth­day in style.

Fred­die Mer­cury, front­man for le­gendary band Queen and Feltham’s most fa­mous son, was a bag­gage han­dler at the air­port be­fore Break­ing Free and join­ing the band in 1970.

Mer­cury, then known as Far­rokh Bul­sara, worked as a bag­gage han­dler while study­ing at Eal­ing Art Col­lege, where he met Tim Staffel, the bassist for Queen.

Fred­die would have been 72 years old on Wed­nes­day Septem­ber 5, had he not passed away from a lung dis­ease, a com­pli­ca­tion of AIDS, in 1991.

Bri­tish Air­ways bag­gage han- dlers at Heathrow’s Ter­mi­nal 5 cel­e­brated be­ing Fred­die for a day, by per­form­ing Mer­curyin­spired dance moves for trav­ellers, chore­ographed by Strictly Come Danc­ing and X Fac­tor chore­og­ra­pher Lyn­don Lloyd. Any pas­sen­ger trav­el­ling through Ter­mi­nal 5 named Fred­die, Fred­er­ick or Farokh on Wed­nes­day was in­vited, along with their travel com­pan­ions, to use Bri­tish Air­ways’ First lounge. Queen mem­o­ra­bilia is also pop­ping up in the de­par­tures area of the ter­mi­nal, with the cel­e­bra­tions help­ing to raise money for Queen’s char­ity, the Mer­cury Phoenix Trust, as well as cel­e­brat­ing the up­com­ing cin­e­matic re­lease of Bo­hemian Rhap­sody, a film trib­ute to the band Queen and its enig- matic front­man. Parts of the movie were filmed at Heathrow and de­pict Fred­die’s life from a refugee from Zanz­ibar to his life in Feltham, be­fore go­ing from “bags to riches”.

Virinder Bansal, a bag­gage ser­vice man­ager at Heathrow, who also stars in the video, said: “Fred­die Mer­cury was a truly Bri­tish icon and I am de­lighted to ‘Break Free’ and cel­e­brate his iconic life with my col­leagues. We hope pas­sen­gers at Ter­mi­nal 5 en­joy our sur­pris­ing and unique wel­come to the UK, be­fore we re­turn to work. Af­ter all, The Show Must Go On”.

Adam Dewey, one of Bri­tish Air­ways’ bag­gage man­agers, said: “Fred­die Mer­cury is an undis­puted rock leg­end and it has been an ab­so­lute blast plan­ning his birth­day cel­e­bra­tions at Heathrow, where he once worked.

“The new film Bo­hemian Rhap­sody has proved a great in­spi­ra­tion for all of us and we can’t wait to be hot-step­ping our way to the pre­miere next month.”

Bag­gage han­dlers had been prac­tic­ing their dance rou­tine for weeks

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