Brainchild of boss Peter ‘Mitsubishi’ Parker, British Rail’s first proper TV ad campaign was a whistles-and-bells extravaganza of cut-price offers and posh cinematic entreaties. Dozens of Inter-City fleets, bodywork glistening in a perpetual rainstorm, plied forever-rolling countryside. Their cargo: the honourable Sir Jim’ll Savile. His armoury: a dark suit, a Maxpax coffee, shockingly sensible hair and an endless amount of paperwork that had to be done before that pressing engagement with the man who makes the machines for the hospitals. Wine-bar funk played while the kid who sang ‘Walking in the Air’ (Not Aled Jones, The Other One) belted out, ‘this is the age of the train.’ From a time when audiences were impressed by extended sequences of carriage exteriors, the ads did their job in leaving the slogan – somewhat meaningless out of context – in everyone’s heads.
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
We thought the Mike Read-fronted episode was pretty fascinating all told, with some good answers if they ever do Sparks Singles or Darts Singles on Pointless, and we do genuinely love those singles by Thin Lizzy and, yes, BA Robertson, although it was only when someone mentioned it on Twitter that we realised the music is blatantly a slowed-down version of his Swap Shop theme. Sadly this week’s is extremely similar but there are some other interesting bits and, if you don’t want to hear that Suzi Quatro song again, you could always listen to the slightly different version she recorded for the BBC Christmas tape.
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Points of View
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