In Video: A Selection of Old Gas Adverts

A look at some of the old British Gas advertisements from the 1970s and 1980s

Gas Hob. Image by Only Background (via Shutterstock).
Don’t You Love Being In Control? Gas Hob image by Only Background (via Shutterstock).

For today’s post, we have something a bit more light hearted. This time, we have taken a Lancashire United Transport bus back to an era of ‘cookability’ and ‘wonderfuel’. In other words, the era of the British Gas Corporation when they had two-tone blue (gas flame) coloured vans.

So, if you remember when energy was their business, go and see Sid. Then tell him about our latest blog post.

1. David Hamilton and a milk pan

If you’re at least 40 years old or more, you will have across the voiceover fellow and the singer of this advertisement. Kickstarting the Cookability series in this clip was David ‘Diddy’ Hamilton. At the time, he was a popular presenter on Thames Television and on BBC Radio One. The dulcet tones in the Cookability song are those of Madeleine Bell, a singer who was in the early 1970s group, Blue Mink. The other connection with Ms. Bell and the group were the ad’s jingle writers: Brian Cook and Roger Greenaway.

2. Three Star Service Plan

In this clip, the admen are clearly inspired by Coronation Street, the Ada and Cissie sketches (Les Dawson and Roy Barraclough) and, erm… Crow from Saturday Superstore. Behind the voice of the nosy crow is Michael Robbins (Arthur from London Weekend Television’s non-PC 1970s sitcom On The Buses). The dialogue between the characters probably inspired the Post Office’s ad with Les Dawson.

3. If You Smell Gas

An advert or a public information film? This clip featuring Gavin Richards from ‘Allo ‘Allo made a great job of warning us all on the dangers of gas. For example, not to switch lights on if there’s a gas leak (highlighted by a loud ‘NO!’ from Mr. Richards himself). If you were in your formative years, this advertisement probably scared you witless. Chances are, because of this ad, you probably knew from an early age when to turn the gas off and ring the emergency number.

ST Maintenance Solutions, 08 February 2017.

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