Hovis 'Boy on the bike' ad makes TV comeback

Film originally appeared in 1973.


A digitally remastered version of Hovis' "Boy on the bike" ad, which first hit TV screens 46 years ago in 1973, will air once again on TV. 

The spot, originally created by Collett Dickenson Pearce and directed by Sir Ridley Scott, has been restored by the British Film Institute National Archive and RSA Films. It features music re-recorded by the next generation of the Ashington Colliery Band, which featured on the original version.

Set in post-war Britain, the film takes viewers up the cobbled streets of Gold Hill in Dorset, as a boy pushes his bread-delivery bike up the steep slope and then free-wheels back down the hill to the iconic narrative: "T’was like taking bread to top of the world – t’was a grand ride back, though."

Jeremy Gibson, marketing director at Hovis, said: "At Hovis, we have always been about being real, honest people, with a passion for baking bread. The values of our brand have never been more relevant, so we decided to remaster and relaunch our ‘Boy on the bike’ advert. It represents the iconic, family-focused nature of Hovis that is at the heart of everything we do."

Robin Baker, head curator at the BFI National Archive, added: "The BFI is proud to have restored one of the most potent, popular and iconic films in British advertising history. ‘Boy on the bike’ is a mini-masterpiece of big, nostalgic emotion, but the original elements have been ravaged by time. It is now fully restored to its former glory for new generations to enjoy. It looks and sounds as good today as it did in 1973."

The ad airs on ITV tonight (3 June) and will be shown during peak times throughout the month.

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