King Kong could be heading back into Birmingham but only if his owners can be persuaded to open a market in the city.

The beast has been found alive and well, but not quite as mighty as he once was.

The 20ft tall fibreglass figure stood astride several locations in the city in the 1970s, including Manzoni Gardens behind the old Bull Ring and outside a car dealership in Digbeth.

In 1976, he was sold for £12,700 to Scottish company Spook Erections to put in the markets its runs around the country.

But now King Kong has been found lying in a car park in Penrith.

The discovery has sparked interest in bringing the gargantuan gorilla back to Birmingham.

One interested party is The Jewellery Quarter Partnership which has contacted Spook Erections asking if it would be interested in selling the statue so it can be put on top of the Big Peg.

But Lesley Maby, who runs Spook Erections, said there was only one deal on the table.

“If the local authority find me a nice site for a market then King Kong will go there – I’ve always said ‘never say never’,” Mrs Maby told the BBC.

“But apart from that, he’s not for sale at any price – he means more to me than any sum of money.”

And she revealed that King Kong had undergone a few changes in the 30 years he had been away from Birmingham.

The statue has been badly damaged and has had to be patched-up – including having a broken arm repaired and a new coat of paint.

He has also undergone several new looks, being painted a variety of colours including black, grey, pink and at one time tartan when local schoolchildren in Scotland took part in a colouring competition.