‘Recorded any new podcasts lately?’
I get asked this a few times every week.
The askees range from college attendees to retired adman.
As I pick the people I interview, they seem as famous as The Beatles to me, but they’re often unknown to the askees.
After offering up a name and watching a blank expression appear, I reach for a quick handle, something from culture that I think they’ll know.
Occasionally it’s an ad fact; ‘Set Up Fallon before his name was lopped off’ (Tom McElligott), but it’s better if it’s something that’s escaped from the pages of Campaign and the various awards annuals and seeped into the culture.
A good test is whether it would pique the interest of your parents.
For example, mine wouldn’t be fussed about who founded Fallon, but they might be interested in the bloke who ‘Created those Smash Martians and Cresta Bear ads, yet wasn’t John Webster‘ (Chris Wilkins), or the ‘Typographer who used to be in a band with David Bowie‘ (Dave Wakefield) or maybe the guy who ‘Shot all those Gary Lineker Walker’s ads’ (Paul Weiland).
Should I bump into another askee before I post this, and they haven’t heard the name Trevor Beattie, the problem wouldn’t be trying to think of a cultural link they may know, it will be trying to figure out which one is most relevant to the person in front of me.
I could create a very bespoke answer.
Because Trevor seems to have had a disproportionate amount of brushes with popular culture.
Here’s a few that spring to mind:
He went to school with UB40.
Worked for the bloke who wrote the R-Whites ‘Secret Lemonade Drinker’.
Did those Weetabix ‘Skinhead’ ads.
Got Bob Hoskins to do the voiceover.
Hired by the guy who wrote Campari’s ‘No, Luton Airport’.
Wrote those ads where people turn into Bertie Bassett.
Created an Irish Tourist Board campaign featuring Wendy Craig and Billy Beaumont.
Wrote ‘Cats Like Felix Like Felix’ in 1989 (it’s still used).
Discovered Holly Willoughby for Pretty Polly ad.
Wrote ‘Hello Boys’.
Shot with Hugh Hudson.
Did that ‘Cometh The Hour’ David Beckham ad.
Created that F.C.U.K. campaign.
Owns the biggest Muhummad Ali collection in the world.
Did a Unicef ad with Nelson Mandela.
Persuaded Chris Cunningham to direct his first commercial.
Shot an ad with David Lynch.
Used John Shuttleworth for Yorkshire Tea ads.
Rewrote Lionel Bart’s ‘Food, Glorious Food’ for McCain’s ad.
Pays for hundreds Veterans to go back to the beaches of Normandy to commemorate D-Day every year.
Approved ‘Double Life’.
Invested in ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels‘.
Bought the original Abbey Road sign.
Approved Peter Kay’s John Smith’s campaign.
Oversaw the marketing for Tony Blair and New Labour for three successful General Election campaigns.
Created poster for that film ‘Layer Cake’.
Hired Zowie Bowie.
Produced the cult film ‘Moon’.
Made a documentary about Rudolph Nuryev.
Produced a documentary about the history of the Spitfire.
Producing a film about Brian Epstein.
Trekked to the South Pole with Buzz Aldrin.
Produced a documentary about Thalidomide (Attacking The Devil).
With Harold Evans.
Going to space in 2020.
(At the time of writing he’s desperately trying to make a film about Hilda Ogden.)
We had a great chat, hope you enjoy it.
ALLEN BRADY MARSH.
HOLMES KNIGHT RITCHIE.
AS CREATIVE DIRECTOR.
John Smith’s Bitter.
The Tate Gallery.
BEATTIE McGUINNESS BUNGAY.
First Choice Holidays.
Taylor’s of Harrogate.