IN THE SUMMER of 1990, there was but one question on the nation’s lips. Not ‘can England win the World Cup?’ Not even ‘will Robson go with three at the back against Belgium, Emlyn?’ No, during that year’s footballing fiesta, one single conundrum echoed across England (and Wales). Where did the power that was working our TV actually come from?
Fortunately, one man had the answer. And that man was PETER PURVES. In a prime piece of pre-privatisation propaganda, the newly-formed National Power conscripted the amiable frontman from Blue Peter, Kickstart and the darts to reassure a restless people fallen to wondering just who was responsible for generating electricity for England (and Wales).
Striding out beneath the Twin Towers as stirring music swelled, Pete commandeered the Wembley floodlights to reveal the answer. If you tot up the electricity produced by everybody else, it comes to a derisory 56%, explained Pete, leaving the famous pitch in semi-darkness. So who was responsible for the rest, he asked rhetorically, before lighting up half of the London Borough of Brent to demonstrate the current-generating majesty of National Power. And just in time to get the thoughts of Graham Taylor before the second half of Cameroon v Romania.