11/01/2016 14:52 GMT | Updated 11/01/2016 15:59 GMT

David Bowie Dead: Ziggy Stardust Plaque Becomes Gathering Place For Fans Left Distraught

A light rain was touching the steady stream of mourners as we arrived at Heddon Street in London's West End, the site of the famous Ziggy Stardust album cover.

Between Italian tourists taking selfies with the bunches of flowers left beside his black plaque, fans from all over the world were paying tribute to David Bowie at the humble location off Regent Street.

Amongst them were a self-described top banker who told us he had taken time off work because he "wouldn't be any use today" and a lesbian lawyer, holding back tears, struck with the influence Bowie had on "revolutionising gender politics."

'Rebel Rebel' was ringing out onto the street - now full of journalists - as a man in a Ziggy Stardust t-shirt sobbed, slouched against a wall.

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A man lays flowers in tribute to David Bowie on Heddon Street

Two "Superfans" wore all black. Natalie Loera, 45, and Darin Crickett, 50, told us they had met on a Bowie fansite. "We have friends all over the world who we have met from this website," Crickett said, his eyes hidden behind the darkest of shades.

"We just can't believe that he's gone," Loera continued, touching Crickitt's arm in a gesture of support.

Loera, said she had moved to London from Berlin after meeting Crickett, and she had taken time off work to visit the scene today.

Londoner "born and bred", Crickett, told us he worked for a top American bank, and he too, needed some time off.

"We're in a period of mourning," Loera said, both agreeing.


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David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust album cover, based on Heddon Street, London

Meanwhile a tearful woman laid out a bouquet of red flowers, but she hadn't written a message. "What can I say," she said, appearing to take in the scenes around her.

Catherine, 52, battled to keep her voice balanced as she told us the reasons for her high levels of emotion. "I'm no super-fan, I'm not normally like this. This is the first time that I've been driven to come and pay my respects for a star.

"I’m gay and a lot of my friends are gay, a number of friends have been in touch today particularly men who have said how Bowie made them feel okay about being different, and okay about having some courage when things were difficult.

"So it's quite personally and politically meaningful to me as well."

Bowie's persona, Ziggy Stardust, created when he released Space Oddity in 1969, was a bisexual alien rock star. The androgynous figure became a gay icon.

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David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust

Of the persona, at the time, he said: “Offstage I’m a robot. Onstage I achieve emotion. It’s probably why I prefer dressing up as Ziggy to being David.”

Later in the morning a young boy with a beanie hat and turtle bag pack sat on his dads shoulders like a fan at a rock concert. He was pointing at the black plaque, his father taking in the scenes on what was supposed to be "a happy holiday in London."

David King, 39, and his young son Daniel, were together visiting from Melbourne, Australia. "What's your favourite Bowie song?" we asked the four-year-old, who was giggling in his fathers arms.

"Starman, I think".

His father later insisted that he was going to grow up to be a Bowie fan.

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People lay flowers outside a Ziggy Stardust memorial in Brixton

Young Swedish fashionistas were also at the scene, before rushing off to report on a catwalk show.

"We came because we wanted to be with other fans," said Claes Juhlin, 31. Whilst his friend Daniel Linstrom said: "Bowie has transformed the fashion world, his style influenced so much of what we know today."

Australian backpacker Daniel Dwyer, 24, had a tear in his eye when we approached. He told us that today is his last day in London.

He described the visit to the Ziggy Stardust site as somewhat of a musical pilgrimage.

"I would describe it as a farewell, it's kinda sad because of the tributes to him. It's hard to express how he has impacted my life. He has the type of music that touches everyone," Dwyer said holding back tears.

He said he was leaving to go back home, Canberra, at 8pm tonight and that the news had utterly and emotionally shocked him.

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A woman stands outside a Ziggy Stardust tribute wall in Brixton

The feeling in the air was summed up by researcher Gregory Maule, 34. We asked him how he felt when he heard the news, and he couldn't just sit at home.

“I’m devastated. I cried. I sat infront of the TV crying for like five minutes because I was just literally broken," he said.


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