THEY came .. we saw .. they conquered.

The Giants have put Wirral on the tourist destination map.

More than 1.3 million excited people came to watch, openmouthed, the Royal de Luxe French giants who enchanted even the most hardened cynics over four days in Liverpool and Wirral.

It was a gigantic success on every level and finally gave New Brighton a much deserved higher profile – nationally and internationally.

The local economy has been boosted.

I feel, however, it would have been more effective as a two-day event to avoid the mass disruption.

Queues of any nature always lose their novelty value after an hour but, that said, the rail and bus serves coped marvellously well.

The patience of the public was a remarkable collective achievement in itself.

And there were no arrests.

From school parties to picnicking families, couples to solo trippers, there was magic in the air.

It had the 'Ahh' Factor.

Who can forget those redfrocked Lilliputians.

They looked like tiny humans on an 'on location' Gulliver's Travels movie.

And we all became willing extras.

Imagine if aliens had landed on a research mission – they would have been perplexed at the inhabitants of Planet Earth.

It was just what we all needed - pure escapism as welcome as the news that austerity is ending (which actually seems more of a fairy tale).

The Giants provided old-fashioned free fun. So it is right to celebrate what has been achieved.

Whoever decided on using Wirral as avocation deserves a giant hug.

A forthcoming book will feature images of our iconic Black Rock lighthouse and shipwrecked giant will be Christmas stocking fillers.

Already framed prints are a big hit at Birkenhead market.

But how can we build upon the Giant's legacy?

You can't follow it with another set of mammoth puppets. Time, now, for Imagine Wirral to put a call put out for a future event that can stretch our imagination.

We have Cammell Laird on our doorstep, so how about building a creative collaboration inviting local artists to businesses sponsorship to make something magical happen.

The Giants made us think BIG.

Let's seize the opportunity.


OMG ... OMD are getting better with age.

While Liverpool ensures its famous sons and daughters are honoured with Freeman of the City awards we should give Meols maestros Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Freedom of the Borough.

Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys played two Globe-rated five-star sell-out shows at the Philharmonic Hall. For me, the best gigs of 2018.

The two firm friends have the common touch. How many acts can turn their local phone box into an art icon?

These superstars invited their fans to contribute to the band's biography Predicting To See the Future, out in November.

They also support local arts, too.

I will not forget seeing them open the Meols firework display a few years ago. On Friday it's 40 years since their debut gig at Eric's Club.

Happy birthday Andy and Paul.


POIGNANT Poppy time draws near and will be even more emotional - 100 years since the end of World War One.

Film maker Danny Boyle is creating art with heart.

He is inviting members of the public to assemble at dozens of beaches around the UK on Armistice Day, November 11.

A large scale portrayal of a casualty from the war will be drawn into the sand at low tide at each location and washed away as the tide comes in. Danny has also commissioned a new poem by poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy to be read by people on the beaches.

Pages of the Sea is part of '14-18 Now' - the UK’s official arts programme to mark the WW1 Centenary.

The phrase 'Lest we forget' should never, ever be forgotten.

I hope this beautifully moving concept will continue for generations to come and not just this anniversary.


PIE High ...

B.O.S.T. – Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust – have earned their crust with Sweeney Todd.

Stephen Sondheim’s macabre operetta is not easy to stage, but the huge company pulled it off on an inventive revolving cube set.

Their months of dedication paid off and the proof was in the pudding - well, actually, the very un-vegan pies.

Director Elsie Kelly and her team came up with another show at the Royal Court that would not look out of place on a West End stage.

I loved Gina Phillips' sparkling portrayal of Mrs Lovett.

Bravo to our Wirral Globe arts ambassadors – Birkenhead's finest.


NOW for something completely different ...

I have been fortunate to meet all the Monty Python team - bar the late Graham Chapman.

The remaining fab five are comedy’s answers to The Beatles: John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam are all childlike septuagenarians. Eric Idle, who went to school in Wallasey, is the quickest witted.

Eric wrote Always Look on the Bright side of Life, which he is looking forward to singing at his own funeral.

To complete the picture, he has just revealed his own epitaph. Under his name the tombstone will read: 'See Google.'

Peter Grant