Last weekend I wrote about browsing through my old pocket diaries and mentioned a TV commercial (for Bird’s Eye Supermousse) that my brother and I appeared in back in the 1970s. Over the years I have attempted to find the commercial online, without success. We only saw it a handful of times when it was aired, long before we had a VCR, so never had a recording of it. Some years ago I found a reference to it online in a showreel for the Alan Parker Film Company but there was no link to it. I contemplated writing to them to ask for a copy but never did. It turns out that the showreel is now available on YouTube, and I’ve posted a link at the end of this piece.
There are 20 minutes of classic adverts, a nostalgic treat for those of us who grew up in the 1970s and watched plenty of ITV, the only commercial channel in the UK back then. There are ads for Cockburn’s Port (which is where we learnt that it’s pronounced Coe-burn’s and not Cock-burns), Bird’s Eye beefburgers, Benson & Hedges Special Panatella cigars (and other tobacco products), Sony Trinitron TVs and Quake Up (a hot oat breakfast cereal from Quaker’s). The latter passed me by, and so might the Supermousse ad if my brother and I weren’t in it. It begins at 8:55 (8 minutes 55 seconds) in the link below and after repeated slo-mo viewings, pauses, screenshots and zooms I think that’s me at 9:18, putting a spoon in my mouth as Oliver walks past us on the way to ask for more. If so it’s the only available piece of video showing anyone in my family before the 1990s. I haven’t been able to identify my brother anywhere in this clip but will note it here if I do.
I don’t expect you to be too interested in my brief debut appearance on TV (assuming that it is me) but invite you to immerse yourself in the golden era of British TV commercials. Heineken refreshing the parts other beers can’t reach? Penelope Keith teaching her pupils how to write cheques with a Parker Lady pen? Leonard Rossiter pouring Cinzano Rosé all over Joan Collins? It’s all here: The Alan Parker Film Company Showreel (1977) on YouTube.