Adam Ant unveils his Black Dog on the Isle of Dogs—for mental health

A black dog named Elvis now sits permanently in the park appropriately on the Isle of Dogs—thanks to former rock star Adam Ant.

The punk lead singer who topped the charts three times in the 1980s unveiled a 3ft fibreglass statue of a black dog at Millwall’s Island Gardens to mark the mental health charity Sane’s 25th anniversary yesterday.

He designed handprint decorations for the plinth and named the statue Elvis after his own bulldog which died recently—Elvis the dog, of course, being named after the rock star of all time.

The charity, which runs its call centre in Whitechapel, is putting up Black Dog statues in several parks to raise awareness of mental health.

Its founder Marjorie Wallace told the Advertiser: “Winston Churchill talked of depression as ‘the Black Dog’—he took it from classical mythology as a metaphor for dark feelings.

“So we’ve started the Black Dog campaign to encourage people who don’t want to say they’re depressed to talk instead of having the Black Dog behind them.

“The statue is a tangible, visible symbol where people can come and look without inhibitions and children can even climb on it.”

Most Read

Marjorie, a retired journalist who broke the thalidomide scandal 50 years ago, was approached by Adam to help the campaign of awareness after his own history of breakdowns and depression.

The statue he unveiled gives the helpline number, 0845-767 8000, which is open 6pm-11pm all year round, or where to email:

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter