Urld Spice up your life
When I trotted down to Warkworth Beach in June 2010 with my dog Luka and a defaced bottle of my mum’s John Frieda volumising spray to make a cheer up video for my girlfriend Anna, I could never have imagined that I would be discussing it live on BBC radio 18 months later. Nor could I have foreseen a professionally photographed image of myself gracing the front page of The Journal in nothing but a beach towel.
I had every intention of making a Northumbrian version of the Old Spice advert. Back then it was merely a web commercial that had become popular in the States and had just snuck into the public consciousness over here. It is an extremely slick work and very well acted and very funny. My mission was to make the opposite of that and so stuck the label to the spray and headed out. I had no script in mind but thought that, as long as I kept to the original’s theme, I could muster a decent effort.
The beach was practically empty, the sun was out and so I set up my mobile phone to record. I did a rough guesstimate of where I would appear in frame and then went for it. The first take is the one that is in the video. I did a couple of others, sometimes jumping into shot but they were quickly discarded. I even managed to wrangle Luka into performing as I aped the “I’m on a horse” ending with “I’m on me durrg!”
After uploading to YouTube it went largely unwatched until my friends began sharing it on Facebook and Twitter earlier this month. It got so many hits in such a short space of time, 3500 in a week, that I got phone calls from the BBC and local papers for further information and emails with script ideas for future parodies. It helped that comedian Bob Mortimer had shown interest in the video, again a result of the sharing through social media. I was utterly flabbergasted that he had done so, and even more bewildered when he asked me whether I would do anymore?
Oh God yes! This is a very pleasant merry-go-round and I don’t want to get off!