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A quacking time at the Manchester Duck Race

Read Time: 2 minutes

The Manchester Duck Race is an annual event run by Brainwave – a charity that exists to help children with disabilities – and sponsored by our client New Bailey, where the event is held. Now in its tenth year, it’s become somewhat of an Easter institution, attracting entries from over 60 Manchester based businesses and hundreds from the general public.

Crowds at Manchester Duck Race

The main aim is to raise money for a great cause, but the event also sparks lively competition among the businesses taking part! We wanted to design a duck that hadn’t been done before – no easy feat given the popularity of the Duck Race and the effort people put in – and that was both relevant to us and topical.

After numerous post-work Friday brainstorming sessions (over a few gins), we came up with our theme: Villanelle from BBC America’s hit series, Killing Eve. Not only was it one of our binge-watch favourites of last year, the second series is on the horizon in the UK, having hit American screens just a couple of weeks before the race, but star of the show Jodie Comer also hails from Active Profile’s hometown of Liverpool.

A blonde wig, a pink tutu, matching lipstick and some eyelashes later and ‘Billanelle’ was born. Our Billing Eve duck had some stiff competition though, with 64 other businesses competing in total and creating some amazing designs, including Drake, the Joker, Bohemian Quacksody and the eventual winner of the best dressed award, the Quacken.

Billanelle gets a good luck message from Villanelle

Billanelle may not have won the public vote, but she did get support from Villanelle herself! Jodie’s message of good luck spurred us on to almost 1,300 likes and over 50 retweets on Twitter. We may not have won the race, but we did help to bring some national attention to the Manchester Duck Race and got lots of messages of support from around the world!