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
This is the first and potentially the most interesting of the anniversary programmes, and despite the name it’s not just pop featured but also jazz, folk, classical and the whole of the musical spectrum that’s been covered on the channel, with David Attenborough our VJ for the evening. Inevitably we’re most interested in the pop and they promise it won’t just be Whistle Test, Jools Holland and the last desperate year of Top of the Pops but music and chat from all kinds of shows. Let’s hope too for stuff from the shorter-lived series like Behind The Beat, Snub and The O Zone, a show we were always very fond of.
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Points of View
- In 'Play Chess', Graham Pearson says: "Play Chess was generally broadcast during the school holidays. I also remember BBC2 coverage of two senior chess players in action."
- In 'Fast Forward', Scott McPhee says: "This was shown on Australian television, too. I seem to remember Fast Forward had a vox pop segment. In this, a camera crew went to a generic..."
- In 'Rainbow', Scott McPhee says: "Why no mention of Zippy and Bungle?"
- In 'Words and Pictures', Rehannah Mian says: "I have just uploaded the Words and Pictures Halloween episode. It has the witches song in it but not the pumpkin..."
- In 'For the West ', malcolm says: "Does anybody know where I can find this to buy ? My brother acted in it as a child and only got to see it once. It would make a great gift :0)"