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As good for you today as it's always been...

The newly baked Hovis Bread advert still maintains its link to its iconic past with Ashington Colliery Band providing the soundtrack to the famous boy on the bike...

Hovis
  Ashington Colliery has played its part in keeping the iconic brand up to date...

Perhaps the most famous brass band performance of all time has brought back to life almost 50 years after it was first heard.

Only 45 seconds long, it was given by Ashington Colliery Band in 1973 to accompany a television advert for Hovis bread — and soon become one of the most iconic in broadcasting history.

Top of the world

The rather quickly paced snippet from 'Dvorak's New World Symphony' accompanied the storyline of the baker's boy delivering his loaves up a vertiginous hill — 'like taking bread to the top of the world' — before he heads back free-wheeling down to the shop (the lad himself is now aged 60!).

The advert was made by film director Ridley Scott — way before he brought 'Alien', 'Blade Runner' and 'Gladiator' to the silver screen, and was recently voted the most 'heartwarming and iconic advert' in television history.

It has now been fully restored to its former glory in a state of the art 4K digital restoration, with the music also rescored to ensure that the advert can fit the new 40 second advert slots.

Real coup

The music has once again been performed by Ashington Colliery Band — and the solo lead (which was originally played by Maurice Priestly) features solo horn player Peter Scott and he told that he was delighted to be featured.

"It's a real coup for the band and great that the makers came back to the original band to perform the track again."

He added: "The piece has to be played just a little quicker to fit the new time frame, but they wanted to retain the original sound so I'm delighted that they went for the horn sound and not the cornet!

It also retains a connection as Maurice was a local peripatetic teacher and I joined the band just three months after the advert was first aired. I think people know that although it seems to be a 'northern' advert the village itself was in Dorset, although the sound conjures up a wonderful feeling of nostalgia that the music enhances."

After getting in touch, the producers sent the band the new arrangements before making the trip to Ashington's rehearsal base at their local YMCA to make the recordings.

The piece has to be played just a little quicker to fit the new time frame, but they wanted to retain the original sound so I'm delighted that they went for the horn sound and not the cornet!Peter Scott

Iconic

Talking about the decision to bring the advert back to the screens, Jeremy Gibson, Marketing Director at Hovis, said; "The values of our brand have never been more relevant. Despite being over 46 years old, recent research has found that the advert is as good today as it's always been and differs from adverts focusing on broader entertainment.

Meanwhile, Ridley Scott added: "I'm thrilled that the 'boy on the bike' is still regarded as such an iconic and heartwarming story which remains close to the heart of the nation.

I remember the filming process like it was yesterday, and its success represents the power of the advert."

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John Maines

BA (Hons)
Presenter, compere and conductor