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Woody's a genius; Violin star Nigel backs our bid to honour legend Roy.

MIDLAND violin superstar Nigel Kennedy last night backed the Sunday Mercury campaign to give Roy Wood a star for Christmas.

During a flying visit from his new home in the Polish city of Krakow, he gave Woody his celebrity backing - with no strings attached.

"Woody is a genius," the 52 year-old musician said. "He has written some of pop music's greatest singles. I love him to bits.

"I've had the pleasure of playing with him at Symphony Hall, and I'd love to do so again. I'm hoping we can get together soon." Kennedy also revealed how he once rearranged Woody's Move hit Blackberry Way, adding snatches of Bach to the song.

"My message is: get Woody a star for Christmas!" said Villa fan Nigel, who recently met the pop wizard at Villa Park after the Everton match.

The violinist currently lives in Krakow with his second wife, Agnieszka. His son Sark, he revealed, wants to be a rock drummer.

Roy Wood has written hit after hit with The Move, Wizzard and Electric Light Orchestra - not to forget I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.

Cracker So the Sunday Mercury has launched a cracker of a campaign: Get Woody A Star For Christmas.

We want Roy to be immortalised with a star on the Birmingham Walk Of Stars, the Broad Street attraction honouring entertainers from the world of showbiz and sport.

So far, there are stars bearing the names of Ozzy Osbourne, Jasper Carrott, Noddy Holder, Tony Iommi and Murray Walker.

There's been one for Norman Painting from The Archers, another for the radio soap itself - and Julie Walters has accepted the honour.

It's been announced that Aston Villa's 1982 European Cup winning team is to have a star, and there will be similar honours for the Blues and the Baggies.

We want Woody to be the Christmas star.

The pop mastermind was born in Kitts Green, and played in The Falcons, Gerry Levene & The Avengers and Mike Sheridan & The Nightriders.

He next joined The Move, for whom he wrote a series of classic hits including Flowers In The Rain, the first song ever played on Radio 1.

Roy was one of the founders of the Electric Light Orchestra, but left to form Wizzard, enjoying huge hits including

Angel Fingers, See My Baby Jive and that Christmas song.

Since then, he's released solo albums and fronted a number of bands, the most recent of which - Roy Wood's Rock & Roll Band - appears at Birmingham's NEC on December 5 as special guests of Status Quo.

He's won a prestigious Ivor Novello Award for the 'best collection of songs' and an honorary Doctorate in Music at the University of Derby.

Roy was delighted to hear that Nigel Kennedy had given his support to the campaign.

"He's a great mate," said Woody.

"When I played at Symphony Hall, I asked if he'd like to get up to have a scrape - and he agreed.

"It was good to see him at the Villa the other week. We chatted about maybe getting together for a jam sometime. I'd love it if he could play in my band when we appear at the NEC!" The Birmingham Walk of Stars is organised and funded by the Broad Street Business Improvement District, which represents the 260-plus businesses in the area - the Midlands premier entertainment district, welcoming more than 100,000 visitors a week.

Broad Street manager Mike Olley says: "Roy Wood is an amazing Birminghambred talent. He certainly fits the bill - and he gets my vote. We look forward to seeing how this campaign develops. We do listen to the public, so have your say!" paul.cole@sundaymercury.net Sign up online at www.sundaymercury.net/roywoodcampaign/

HERE'S HOW TO HELP GET WOODY'S STAR ONLINE: Click on www.sundaymercury.

net and follow the link to our Roy Wood campaign page.

Here you'll have the chance to sign our online petition, and view picture galleries and videos of Woody in action.

You'll also find our in-depth interview with Roy and the articles he's writing for the Sunday Mercury.

Or sign up straight online at www.sundaymercury.net/roywoodcampaign.

BY POST: Fill in the petition form which appears on this page and send it to the address shown.

All your names will be forwarded to the Birmingham Walk Of Stars organisers to add to their own online poll..
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 3, 2009
Words:727
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