Ad agency fans of the new Abbott Mead Vickers commercial for Pizza Hut
‘stuffed crust pizzas’ (bleurgh!) could be forgiven for thinking they’ve
seen that man acting opposite Damon Hill before.Yes, of course, it’s
Murray Walker, the BBC’s voice of Formula One, but what not many people
know is that until the early 80s Walker was a board account director at
D’Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles in St James’s Square.
Walker excelled himself selling Vauxhall cars, Eastern Electricity, the
Co-op and Trill budgie food. You know, ‘Trill makes budgies bounce with
Apparently, he’d been with Jack Wynne-Williams of old, and commentating
was his night job. In the early 80s he retired from advertising,
believing he’d made enough money. Almost overnight, the commentating
Graham Hinton, now the Bates Dorland chairman but formerly Walker’s boss
at DMB&B, remembers him wistfully: ‘Yes, yes, he always used to talk 19
to the dozen and was terribly enthusiastic about everything. He never
did have any hair.’
Sadly, we have reason to be less charitable about Walker. While Murray
was running the Trill account, the Diary’s editor fell, as innocent
schoolboys do, for the advertising and was feeding his budgie the stuff.
Poor Pip didn’t ‘bounce with health’. In fact, he died young.