Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson heralded the four-day giants spectacular as an “amazing success” for the city – and is already talking about bringing them back.
Mayor Anderson said that the city’s residents could even be asked for their ideas for Giants creators Royal de Luxe to base a story around.
Director Jean-Luc Courcoult is known to be a big fan of Liverpool and he is understood to favour the city ahead of other UK cities.
The Mayor revealed the eccentric Frenchman had shed tears in a 30-minute debrief.
When asked if the giants will come back to the city, Mayor Anderson said: “Like all of these things, we need to take stock.
“When we had the Titanic event two years ago we spoke with Jean-Luc and we came up with a story based around the 100 years of the Titanic disaster. The Arts Council was excited about that.
“We have got other plans for the city. We have got the Liverpool International Musical Festival and we have got the International Business Festival which is coming back in 2016. The Cunard ships are coming to Liverpool next year.
“Jean–Luc is a lover of the city and he will do things that I ask him to do. We will work closely together with him in the future. There is a possibility that members of the public will think of a story. Jean-Luc and I will speak to one another and we will talk about things. We are looking forward to something special in the city. Watch this space.”
The charismatic Frenchman takes his Giant Spectacular to Ireland in September and then Australia.
Watch: Little Girl Giant and Grandmother dance at Clarence Dock
The Mayor added: “I spoke to Jean–Luc and he was very emotional. He had tears in his eyes. It was a case of ‘au revoir’ and ‘bon voyage’ for now. He is flying out tomorrow morning.
Mayor Anderson explained that he had not felt any pressure in bringing the street theatre spectacle back to the city in 2014, despite huge government cuts to the authority’s budget.
He said: “You can wrap yourself up in cotton wool and let fear grip you. Or you can be creative and imaginative and do things. We knew that after the success of the Titanic Sea Odyssey event and remembering the 100 years since that tragedy that we could do it again.
“This time it has cost us less than it did two years ago. People saw how successful it was two years ago and we were able to get sponsors in and I was confident to get them in again. It was a calculated decision without any risk in my view.
“There are people in the city who are facing tough times but that does not mean that we cannot enjoy ourselves. We have had publicity in excess of £20m. We got national and international coverage. Someone emailed me to say that they were watching in Singapore and they said, ‘What a wonderful job that you are doing.’ People were watching in Vietnam.
“The coverage that we got we could not have been bought. It was covered in America, Australia, France and Ireland. It was also absolutely amazing that pictures of Liverpool were sent around the world. It cost us £250,000 to get sponsorship from people who went the extra mile – The Arts Council, 14/18 and European Regional Development Fund who all worked with us. The European money went to make it a great event for the city. It cements in my view that Liverpool is a first class city to hold an event like that.
“The £250,000 pales into insignificance. You cannot put a price on the enjoyment that people have had – the kids will be talking about it for years to come. The restaurants and the hotels were all full.”
Revised crowd estimates for the weekend’s Memories of August 1914 showed that 1.5m people witnessed the event.
Mayor Anderson said: “There are many cities around the UK that are extremely jealous of us at the moment. It was 1.5m people that came to the city.
“I got enjoyment and lots of satisfaction from people that got excited – seeing the joy on people’s faces was amazing. It’s undoubtedly the biggest event that’s been staged in the city.
“I saw the cards and the flowers that people left in St George’s Hall. They read, ‘Thank you, Nan’. It was not ‘grandmother’ that they wrote – it was ‘Nan’, which is a very Liverpool thing.”
The Labour leader said that he was very proud of the “team effort” that the partners gave to the puppet extravaganza.
He added: “The way people rallied around was great.
“I also believe the spectacle of the men that signed up for the First World War and them roaming our streets was special.
“Lord Derby wanted one regiment and he ended up with four. The recruitment began in the St George’s Hall, the same great hall were the Giants were. That was a poignant moment.”
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The Giants may be on the way back to Liverpool, reveals city Mayor Joe Anderson