This is why Niall Quinn, Melanie Hill and other famous faces will appear as holograms in Sunderland's city centre

A series of famous ‘talking heads’ will be sharing what they love about Sunderland at locations across the city over the Jubilee weekend.
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The ‘#SmartTalking Sunderland’ campaign will feature holograms of famous faces, including Niall Quinn, Melanie Hill and other well-known names at four locations across the city centre.

From Friday, June 3 to Saturday, June 4 the talking heads will share their experiences and memories of what they love about Sunderland.

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Sunderland City Council and Teesside-based supplier of digital visualisation tools, Animmersion have teamed up to install the series of virtual faces.

The #SmartTalking heads will be located in four locations across Sunderland.The #SmartTalking heads will be located in four locations across Sunderland.
The #SmartTalking heads will be located in four locations across Sunderland.

Patrick Melia, Chief Executive at Sunderland City Council, said: “We are excited to be able to use digital technology to our advantage, in our digitally connected smart city. We wanted to inspire and excite local people and visitors to Sunderland, by providing a totally different experience.

"And what better time to commend our city than over the celebratory jubilee weekend? Working in partnership with leading local experts, Animmersion, further cements our forward-thinking digital capabilities as a region.”

Residents can also share their own #SmartTalking story, to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to see Elton John live in concert at the Stadium of Light.

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Samuel Harrison, CEO of Animmersion UK, said: “Working alongside the smart city programme team at Sunderland City Council, we are delighted to bring a truly unique experience to the people of Sunderland.

“Our team create eye-catching, impactful content to capture imaginations and really showcase the power of technology.

"To do this in such an inspiring, digitally-connected setting here in Sunderland, and with such a fantastic group of people who talked so passionately about the city; this really was a great opportunity that we were thrilled to be part of.”

The #SmartTalking heads will be located in these four locations across the city:

In Keel Square

Outside the Fire Station

At The Bridges Shopping Centre

Outside the Stadium of Light

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Patrick added: “We want as many people in and around Sunderland to join in as possible, by sharing their own memories, favourite places and positive experiences of our city.

“Let’s showcase our collective pride – our fond memories and favourite spaces – and combine these Sunderland stories with our smart ambitions for our city’s future.”

For more information about how to enter the competition please visit