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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When we walked past MediaCityUK a few months back we were amused to see that there’s a big picture of Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie in one of the windows and then right next to it is a tiny picture of Marc Riley, rather replicating the concept of Scrawn and Lard’s much-missed double act. Here’s Marc back on the Home Service, though, introducing a new series of archive clippage, first picking out interviews with Bowie from 1977 and Iggy Pop from 1990.
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Points of View
- In 'Virgin 1215', Richard16378 says: "The whole Bannister Axe at Radio 1 really played into Virgin’s hands at the time it was launched, winning a chuck of audience stuck between..."
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- In 'A-Team, The', Scott McPhee says: "I can’t say that I was a big fan of The A-Team. I grew bored of it very quickly. Then, in primary school, my class spent a term doing media..."