Commercial Break Extra: Unmissable vintage ads for the UK

3 June 2009

You might have tuned into Channel 4 at 10pm last night to see the riot of mental illness and primate mishandling that was ‘My Monkey Baby’ – we know we did.

But we also had our Sky+ set for ‘Welcome To Britain,’ a magnificent look at four decades of government-made films aimed at promoting Britain around the world. It included loads of pro-UK breast-beating, casual sexism, rudimentary technology like microwaves and mobile phones… and Roger Cook wearing a battery-operated coat.

The films were underpinned with the same message – namely ‘Hey everyone else; look how terrific Great Britain is!’ – all served up with great dollops of kitsch and unbridled eccentricity. It was one of the best things we’ve seen on the telly for ages.

You can check it out again at 10pm tonight on BBC4 or right now courtesy of the BBC iPlayer. Truly wonderful stuff, and there’s a clip below.

4 comments

  • Yer M.
    yer ma is the bus driver
  • Jack
    Hahah, great video, seems like it would be quite an entertaining program! The bus journey didn't look comfortable, they have squashed in tightly, and looks like they just about fit on those seats, and those are skinny Africans.
  • Tom P.
    I'd love to give one to that blond bird in The Apprentice.
  • Mark M.
    Were they made to sit at the back of the bus?

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