Travellers at London’s heaving Heathrow Airport were definitely not expecting to be entertained by a flash mob as they lined up in the endless check-in queues and waited to collect their baggage from the carousel.
But that is precisely what happened on Wednesday, as baggage handlers at the busy UK airport teamed up to put on a dazzling performance in honour of legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, on what would have been the flamboyant icon’s 72nd birthday, were he still alive.
Onlookers danced along to the familiar beat of mega hit ‘I Want To Break Free’ as a team of 10 baggage handlers, wearing fluorescent yellow jackets in the style of the famous one that Mercury donned on stage at Live Aid in 1985, performed around the airport terminal.
Dancing around miniature carry-on suitcases, strumming air guitars and belting out the lyrics into makeshift microphone stands, the staff members really got into their roles as they gyrated and mouthed along to the classic 1984 track.
The funny clip was shared on YouTube by British Airways and begins with some little known background knowledge about the superstar, revealing that, when he was still known as Farrokh Bulsara, Mercury actually worked as a baggage handler at the airport.
The video was recorded in collaboration with the upcoming Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which will tell the story of the singer’s rise to fame as the frontman of one of the biggest bands of all time.
Set to be released in cinemas on November 1, the movie stars Rami Malek as Freddie, with the trailer teasing the moment Mercury met his future bandmates for the first time in 1970, after watching Brian May and Roger Taylor perform in their band Smile.
In the clip – which was released in July – Mercury, who died of HIV/AIDS in 1991, says “I enjoyed the show. I also, I write music” before learning that the group’s lead singer has recently departed leaving a slot open for Mercury, and the creation of Queen.
With the tagline “The only thing more extraordinary than their music is his story”, the trailer teases the band’s rise to fame and shows the origins of hit track ‘We Will Rock You’, as guitarist May, played by Gwilym Lee, tells his bandmates: “I want to give the audience a song they can perform.” To which Mercury replies: “What’s the lyric?”