Still curious about Birmingham’s creative credentials?
Our creativity in action
- The BBC, ITV and a number of independent production companies are making entertaining new programmes using the media talent in the city – from slick con artists caper Hustle and stylish Gok Wan to science fiction series, Survivors. While quintessentially British and legendary radio soap opera The Archers continues its 60 year reign in the city.
One of the city’s favourite live music venues – The Jam House is based in a three-storey Georgian building in the Jewellery Quarter and was founded by music legend, pianist and TV presenter, Jools Holland.
- The world’s largest collection of licensed album covers can be explored at St Paul’s Gallery. Look out for iconic cover art from bands such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen and the Beatles.
- Birmingham has played a vital role in life-changing innovation such as the development of synthetic vitamin C and magnetron, the core component in radar.
Creativity is in our genes
- Heavy metal was born in Birmingham and the Black Country. Bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Led Zeppelin changed the face of music in the 70s with their new sound that pushed the boundaries. The scene is still buzzing with groups such as Godflesh, Diamond Head and Witchfinder General continuing where their local metallic predecessors left off.
- Birmingham was the childhood home of authors JRR Tolkien and W H Auden. And if you believe the rumours, the Cadbury Chocolate Factory in Bournville was the inspiration behind Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - as a boarding school pupil, Dahl was a taster of new chocolate recipes for the Birmingham-based institution.
- Inspired by the city’s literary scene, the 19th century American writer Washington Irving penned the famous story of Rip van Winkle while living in the city’s Jewellery Quarter. His novel Bracebridge Hall is also based on visits to Aston Hall, the Jacobean mansion house to the north of the city centre.
- The Birmingham Assay Office has been testing and hallmarking precious metals since 1773. It’s now the largest assay centre in the world, hallmarking over six million items in 2010 with its iconic ship anchor.