101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No 4. Hollywood

No, not Hollywood up by the Maypole. The real one of blockbusters and stars rather than Blockbuster, Poundland and burnt-out cars. Because without a certain city not very far away you’d not be watching George Clooney gurn with his chest out, nor would you be able to grin through gritted teeth at the antics of those Fourty Year Old Hangover chaps with the comedy.

We’d have missed the stars and the studio system, had to put up with only On The Buses between Ealing and Love…Actually. Or watched things with subtitles, confused as to exactly what all of the smoking men were mumbling about.

Because, movies are made of film, and film is made of celluloid. Which was a revolutionary new type of thing called a thermoplastic , first created as Parkesine in 1862 by Alexander Parkes in, yes you’ve guessed it, Birmingham.

Author: Jon Bounds

14th Most Influential Person in the West Midlands 2008, subsequently not placed. His new book about visiting every seaside pier in England and Wales — Pier Review — has been described as “On the Road meets On the Buses”, it's out now. Jon wrote and directed the first ever piece of drama to be performed on Twitter and founded the famous blog Birmingham: It's Not Shit.