The giant statue of Freddie Mercury from We Will Rock You is now in Roger Taylor’s garden

Ben Elton claims the former Queen drummer "nicked it" - and that guitarist Brian May isn’t happy

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For 12 years it was the thrusting symbol of London, but the West End’s giant golden statue of Freddie Mercury bowed out when We Will Rock You closed earlier this year. Now Ben Elton, writer of the Queen musical, has revealed Freddie’s new home.

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Speaking to Radio Times, Elton was asked whether he had kept the immense pop prince. “I wouldn’t want it,” he explained. “I admire and revere Freddie’s memory but I never knew him.”

So where is giant Fred? “It’s in Roger Taylor’s garden, which I believe Brian May is not happy with.”

We Will Rock You opened at the Dominion Theatre in May 2002. Set to the music of Queen, it inspired many similar ‘jukebox musicals’. However it outlasted all imitators, with the statue of Mr Mercury only leaving his perch this May.

The show’s final performance featured both of Mercury’s former bandmates, but Elton outlined the grim fandango that soon took place over his statue:

“Roger nicked it, literally. He hired a truck and just took it. Phil McIntyre [whose company co-produced the show] was up getting it off the roof and Roger said, ‘Drive it to my place.’ I think Brian was away. So, Roger stole Freddie from Brian.”

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For the full interview with Ben Elton buy the new issue of Radio Times magazine, on sale from Tuesday 18th November in the shops and on Newsstand for iPad or iPhone