A special TV news report that showcased Birmingham and the city’s Westside district has been watched by tens of millions of viewers in South America.
Christian Martin, a broadcaster for the Argentinian-based A24 cable news channel that is popular across the continent, was in the city to report on the COVID-19 lockdown.
He also took the opportunity to link up with his old contact Mike Olley, the general manager of Westside BID, and the news report featured him walking the length of Broad Street.
Christian then ended up talking about Black Sabbath’s ‘heavy metal’ bench on Broad Street in Birmingham, and his reports hit prime time TV back in South America, watched by tens of millions of viewers.
The commemorative bench had been placed on the renamed Black Sabbath Bridge back in 2018 but was temporarily removed during the Midland Metro tram extension works, and Christian – himself a huge Sabbath fan – focused on its reinstallation.
Christian’s consequent postings about the broadcast from his popular social media accounts also went viral, with hundreds of thousands of viewings on Twitter and Instagram within the first few hours alone.
Summing up his report on social media, Christian said: “Here I am in Birmingham, the cradle of heavy metal, where Black Sabbath’s heavy metal bench has been reinstalled after the Metro construction works in the UK’s second largest city.
“This is a must see for rock and metal fans once the pandemic allows, and I was invited by Mike Olley to help film a new video for Westside BID about a virtual presentation via zoom with Tony Iommi, the father of heavy metal, and the best guitarist in history.”
The new video about the ‘heavy metal’ bench’s reinstallation is currently in production and will be launched next week.
By Steve Dyson