24 Hour Party For Tony.

A huge 24-hour party is to be held to celebrate Tony Wilson's legacy.

The music mogul, who was known as Mr. Manchester, died last August of a heart attack.

On June 21, a unique 24-hour celebration will begin. It will bring together star guests for a series of hourly workshops. An audience of 200 people at Urbis will get to swap ideas with them.

Council leader Richard Leese said: "Tony Wilson was the epitome of the Mancunian spirit. He had a huge sense of civic pride, he was innovating, entrepreneurial and inspired many people in many different ways."

Wilson was battling kidney cancer when he died. In happier times, his record label, Factory, and his nightclub, the Hacienda, created the 'Madchester' scene.

Since his death the city has considered a string of ideas to pay tribute to the former Granada broadcaster.

Factory Records designer Peter Saville, the city's creative director, is the driving force behind the plan.

New Order bassist Peter Hook is already confirmed. It is hoped top comic Steve Coogan, who played Tony in the film 24 Hour Party People, will also be involved.

Dozens of people who worked with Tony over his years as a broadcaster are clamouring to sign up.

Leading figures who knew Tony include Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Tim Booth of pop band James, and Urban Splash developer Tom Bloxham.

Architect Ben Kelly and Happy Mondays' manager Eliot Rashman could also be among those organisers approach.

In tribute to the unconventional approach that made Tony so influential, the event will involve every creative discipline.

Music, architecture, design, writing, fashion and drama are all expected to be included.

The council-backed celebration will coincide with the 60th anniversary of another major event that put Manchester on the map. It was on June 21, 1948, that the world's first stored computer ran its initial program at Manchester University.

Organisers hope the event will sow the seeds for an annual summer school in Tony's memory.

Says Peter Hook, "Tony to me was everything. It will be a total pleasure to celebrate what he did for us, so I'll be available to do anything."

Photo & material: manchestereveningnews.co.uk