Meet Ed Sheer-Ham - set to be one of the most popular sculptures on this summer's Pigs Gone Wild trail in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 11:52 09 June 2016 | UPDATED: 17:43 09 June 2016
Raised in Suffolk, Ed Sheeran regularly played gigs in Ipswich during the early years of his career.
And now the double Grammy award-winning singer song-writer is returning to the town for a summer session. Well, actually it is not the real Ed Sheeran, but an “awesome” effigy of the star created by artist Martin J Wall.
Ed Sheer-Ham, as the piggy version of Sheeran is known, made a brief appearance at Ipswich Waterfront this morning ahead of the trail launch on June 27.
The singer himself said: “I’m really excited to have a pig sculpture made in my honour and I hope Ed Sheer-Ham will be a huge hit on the Pigs Gone Wild trail in Ipswich this summer. The artist, Martin J Wall, has done a great job – I think he looks awesome.”
Suffolk County Council has sponsored the pig, one of 39 which will appear in town overnight on June 26 and 27, along with 30 junior versions created by schools and community groups.
Families will be able to use a paper map or download the app to locate each of the pigs, marking them off or scanning the QR code attached to the stand.
You can unlock prizes as you make your way around the route, and those who collect all 39 pigs will be entered into a prize draw with the chance of winning a luxury family holiday.
The council is an official partner for the event, the biggest ever mass participation, public art event in Suffolk, hosted by St Elizabeth Hospice.
Suffolk County Councillor Christopher Hudson, cabinet member for Ipswich, said: “We hope Ed Sheer-Ham will create a real buzz around Pigs Gone Wild and will unite our town in its biggest ever mass participation art event, encouraging people and families to get active and to explore all areas of Ipswich.
“It’s fantastic that Ed has lent his support to this, I’m sure this will really help promote civic pride as well as raising funds for St Elizabeth Hospice.”
Norman Lloyd, the hospice’s special projects manager, said: “We are delighted to have Suffolk County Council on board as an official partner. Their pig design is absolutely fantastic and will certainly generate huge interest as well as helping us all deliver a great project to Ipswich.
“I hope Ed Sheer-Ham will not only appeal to local people, but will also bring thousands of visitors to the town and help put Ipswich - and Suffolk - on the map!”
After the 10-week extravaganza, the large pigs will be auctioned off to raise funds for St Elizabeth Hospice, helping to provide vital care and support to people living with a progressive illness and their families.
Pigs were chosen for the event to celebrate Suffolk’s rich agricultural heritage and association with pig production in the county.
Ed Sheer-Ham on the airwaves
The same day Ed Sheer-Ham was unveiled the sculpture even featured on national radio.
Scott Mills’ show on BBC Radio One features a slot called Real or No Real, where those on the show have to decide if a story read to them is fact or fiction.
The tale of Ed Sheer-Ham was the first entry in the game, with Mills’ colleague Chris Stark and fellow presenter Greg James both guessing correctly that it was, indeed, real.
You can hear the segment on the BBC iPlayer from around 2.47 into the show.