Richard E. Grant, Roger Taylor and Andy Serkis praise David Bowie on historic Ziggy Stardust anniversary

Virgin Radio

4 Jul 2023, 12:27

Credit: Rex / Getty

David Bowie had his fair share of celebrity fans, and many of those walked the red carpet to celebrate 50 years since his historic final gig as Ziggy Stardust. 

The likes of Richard E. Grant, Andy Serkis and Duran Duran’s Roger Taylor attended the Global Premiere of the digitally restored Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: The Motion Picture at Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London last night (3rd July), exactly 50 years after Bowie played there as his alter ego and his band

On that night, the late artist, in his Ziggy persona, announced at the end of the performance that it would be “the last show that we’ll ever do,” much to the surprise of his band. All of the commotion was captured in the concert film, Ziggy Stardust The Motion Picture, which has been remastered for audiences to watch for one-night-only on Thursday 6th July. 

Witnessing such a monumental event in Bowie’s life was certainly a highlight for some of the big stars attending the premiere, and while stopping for a chat with on the red carpet, big-screen star Richard E Grant revealed that not only did he know the legendary artist, but he was deeply inspired by his music. 

Richard told us: “[Bowie] was groundbreaking. The gender fluidity and all of that stuff. He preempted Rocky Horror. We're going through this particular moment so he pioneered all of that. Anybody who felt like an outsider, you felt that he was speaking to you. That was a magical thing to have done. No other artist in my lifetime did quite that.”

When it came to how Bowie shaped his own life, the Withnail and I star added: “That anything is possible, and that whatever, however, people judge you, they're the ones who've been judgemental, rather than trying to curtail your own creativity or inspiration according to what other people want. That's a great freedom to give. It's like a ticket, saying, you've got the Willy Wonka thing to go and be who you want to be.”

Meanwhile, Marvel actor Andy Serkis, who worked with Bowie on The Prestige, praised the Starman for being “multi-layered.”

“He makes you think about things,” Andy shared. “He never preaches, it's always that he kind of expands your way of thinking without bludgeon you over the head with a particular point of view. It’s kind of like he brings things out of you, I think, as an artist.”

For comedian David Baddiel, it’s Bowie’s back catalogue that stands the test of time, with countless hits that saw him through his important formative years. 

When asked what about Bowie inspired him, Baddiel explained: “A lot of people talking about Bowie being a revolutionary artist and fashion and gender-bending and all that's really important. But for me, it's just the music because every song from about 1969 to 1981 was an incredible run. Every song is brilliant. It's just amazing that kind of catalogue, I can't get anyone else, including the Beatles, who just wrote so many great songs.”

Meanwhile, Duran Duran might’ve shared a few charts with the Heroes hitmaker, but drummer Roger Taylor remembered being very starstruck when meeting his “childhood hero.”

Reminiscing about his chance to meet Bowie, Roger detailed: “I did meet him in the 80s. I got invited out to dinner.. I show up at the dinner at this restaurant, and I get seated opposite David Bowie. He’s my childhood hero, the man that kind of gave me everything, musically. 

“I get sat opposite him at the dinner table and I just didn't know what to say. What can I say to David Bowie as a 22 year old? I didn't have words. He must have thought I was a very odd character. Then when I met him later, we had some great, great conversations.”

Eddy Temple-Morris has a Virgin Radio Movie Special to celebrate the night Ziggy Stardust was retired in front of 5,000 disbelieving fans. Eddy sits down with Spider keyboardist Mike Garson to find out what it was like on a night that will never be forgotten. Plus you can hear live music from that very gig. Listen here.

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: The Motion Picture’ is digitally restored (now in 4K and with 5.1 sound) with never-before-seen footage. There is another nationwide screening day on Thursday 6th July at local cinemas across the country. Check out for listings.