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Big Biba Closing Sale

THe 'Big Biba' closing down frenzy - and what is that peeking in through the window but the endearing sahle of a classic mini - it could well have been my car parked there as I attended most of the closing down week and had to get from White City to Kensington High Street! - Photo © of Getty Images

In 2015 - Mini celebrates 25 years of Mr Bean

With Teddy by his side, Mr Bean fetes 25 years with London drive

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Sitting in an armchair strapped atop his green mini with his loyal Teddy by his side, Mr Bean celebrated 25 years of his popular television antics on Friday with a London drive to Buckingham Palace.

His car filled with presents, the comedy character portrayed by British actor Rowan Atkinson used a mop to guide the car, just as Mr Bean did in one of the sitcom's episodes after filling his mini with purchases from a store sale. The mainly silent Mr Bean made his television debut in Britain in 1990, and his amusing and often disruptive exploits, won him fans around the world.

"Well it's fantastic. I mean I'm known in Brighton and Birmingham, literally all over the world I'm known which is fantastic," Atkinson in character as Mr Bean said outside the palace where he posed for photos and received a cake. "It's sweet, it's flattering, but it hasn't gone to my head."

Asked how he would celebrate the anniversary, he said: "Well I'm just going to have a small birthday party. It's just me and my friend Teddy." An official Mr Bean Twitter account showed pictures of the globally recognised character on his drive with his toy bear, standing by his large pile of presents and even posing for a photo with the Metropolitan police. (Reporting By Reuters Television; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Hugh Lawson)


Mr Bean and his Mini 25 years

Throwback! Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson) took his iconic car for a spin outside Buckingham Palace on Friday in honour of the show's 25th anniversary - image copyright of Daniel Deme/WENN.com

Mr Bean enjoys a spin outside Buckingham Palace atop his iconic lime green Mini as the sitcom celebrates its 25th anniversary on 4th September 2015

Mr Bean and Cake

Poser: The British actor slipped back into character effortlessly - copyright Jonathan Short/Invision/AP

It's been 25 years since Rowan Atkinson made his TV debut as the lovable, albeit self-centered, Mr Bean.  And to celebrate, the talented British actor slipped back into character and took his iconic car, a 1976 British Leyland Mini 1000, for a spin outside Buckingham Palace on Friday.

In scenes reminiscent of the hugely-popular episode Do-It-Yourself Mr Bean, which first aired in January 1994, Atkinson, now 60, lapped up his surroundings from the comfort of the armchair strapped to the top of his car as it whizzed by the iconic London landmark. In the original sketch, Bean descends on the January sales where he snaps up several items, including an armchair, tins of paint and a mop. However, after fastening the chair to the roof and squeezing everything else inside the car, he soon realises that there is no room left for himself. Ever the genius, he figures out a way to drive the car remotely from the comfort of the chair attached to the roof using his shopping haul before setting off on a daredevil driving expedition.

Speaking after the sketch had aired, Atkinson told the LA Times that he had been reluctant to revive the narcissistic buffoon because he didn’t want him to grow old. He explained: 'I've always seen him as a rather timeless, ageless figure — though, in fact, when we were doing this funeral sketch a few weeks ago, quite a few people said you know there's something about Bean in middle age which feels almost more right; he sort of suits an older outlook.'

Atkinson even floated the idea of another new movie in the future. He continued: 'We could possibly make a movie one day named 'Old Bean' and consciously create an old Bean, who's like Bean but really doddery, and I think one could confront the age issue head-on.'  Atkinson co-wrote all fifteen original episodes of Mr Bean with either his old university friend Richard Curtis or Robin Driscoll, or both. Ben Elton co-wrote the pilot.

Mr Bean and Mini at Harrods Mr Bean, Teddy and Mini

Images copyright of the Press Association and Jonathan Short/Invision/AP - Lots more pictures here

In 2015 - Mini the Villain?

Action Shot from emmerdale

Action shots from 'Emmerdale' - thanks to the Radio Times and What's onTV

Spoiler : A distracted Victoria Sugden is to run down Ashley Thomas in her car, putting the village vicar on the critical list in the process.

An angry Victoria will flip after Kirin announces that Vanessa's baby is actually Adam's. Fired up because Adam has deceived her; Victoria heads out to her car as she leaves an angry voicemail for Adam.

As she speeds off in the car she almost knocks him down. Horrified at what she could have done, they argue. A distracted and angry Victoria then goes to speed off again, but this time she hits Ashley, knocking him hard to the ground with her car...

Emmerdale recently released a summer trailer that showed Ashley hooked up to a life-support machine following the accident. But the situation looks set to get even worse when Laurel announces to Ashley's nearest and dearest that he's died. So does Victoria have blood on her hands?

The Bourne Franchise chooses Mini in 2002

Matt Damon with Mini at the NBC Universal Experience museum

Poplice chase Mini in Paris

Action shot of Mini being pursued in Paris (think we've seen this done in Italy before haven't we?)

I have long been a fan Robert Ludlum's novels which he normally writes as one-offs leaving the reader to want more (of course) and with the rare exceptions when, on two occasions he wrote sequels he had never before Bourne, written a trilogy with one hero present throughout. Even the two-volumed exceptions were written so far apart in time that the title was the only immediate link as there was more than a generation between the volumes! Ludlum moved to the 'Covert One' series that were a slightly different genre and here he created a central group of people who would meet in the various novels depending on the skill set needed at the time. Since his death, the novels have continued with only two of the characters featuring regularly - usually operating on opposite sides of the globe. That his books had not been a screen success until the advent of the Matt Damon 'Bourne' (Richard Chamberlain played him on his one and only previous outing) is an out and out mystery - to me anyway. But in his first outing Matt Damon as Jason Bourne combines Paris and the Classic Mini in the action - too tempting for words! This first film 'The Bourne Identity' can be found on IMDB here

Image courtesy of the Hollywood Blogspot - on display inside the NBC Universal Experience museum

Mini careers down steps in Paris

Not original - but the only car with the dimensions to get away with it I'll be bound!

Jenny Agutter and her Mini

Jennu Agutter and her Mini

Jenny Agutter - one of my favourite actresses and whom I had the good fortune tow work with at Nottingham Playhouse when she starred in 'Veterans' sharing a dressing room with Jane Carr. Both were very kind to me I seem to remember and weren't in the slightest bit pretentious! Judging from the 'M' registration - Jenny must have owned this car circa 1973/4

2000 - Goodbye Mini!

Mini Assembly Line

Farewell Mini - the final assembly line at Longbridge on 4th October 2000

1959 - 2000 - Twiggy Loves her Minis!

Twiggu last ever provenance

Note the date - 11th September, 2000 - the last ever Mini (graced by Twiggy) came off the production line on a date that is seared into the memory of the world - the day the Two Towers in NY were subjected to a terrorist attack.

Twiggy and last ever mini

Twiggy and the last ever Mini with what looks like a UJ flag on the roof! (Photo courtesy of www.TopFoto.co.uk)

Twiggy salutes the great British style icon the mini with Jade Jagger today in London's Covent Garden. The Mini is entering its final phase of production at Longbridge.

Completion of last evber Mini at Rover

This is the moment the last ever Mini was completed at Rover.

Twiggy and Gold Mini 1976

Twiggy and gold Clubman - from a 1976 advertisement

1999 - David Bowie (RIP 10.01.2016) - Chrome Mini

David Bowie

"Cowley factory BMC 1959. Adding final trim to the Morris Mini-Minor (Mini)."

Is this is David Bowie before he became famous, working on the Mini production line? Those who say yes are : The Mini Forum and Classic1275cc via Tumblr - Image Cowley factory BMC 1959 © British Motor Industry Heritage Trust. On Social Media Fb the point is well made, albeit unnecessarily forcefully, that David Bowie would have been 12 in 1959 - so perhaps we need to settle for this being a David Bowie look-alike to avoid any further confrontational incidents. On the other hand - social media can be useful in a positive way, as it provides at least one of the ways this image was used to promote the British Car industry.

Mini History display

Image provided by Allyson Thomas citing origins from 'Mini history board at Mini United 2009'

 

David Bowie Mini

This extraordinary chrome Mini belongs to legendary British rocker David Bowie who designed it himself for the 40th anniversary of the Mini. It’s a classic Mini Cooper, made in 1999 for the brand’s 40th birthday, and "is entirely covered in what looks suspiciously like mirrors." Source: The NewsWheel

1977 - Morecambe and Wise

Everyone knows that if you appeared on the Morecambe & Wise Show you'd made it! Mini featured in the spoof 'Starsky and Hutch' excerpt prepared for the 1977 Christmas Special.

1977 Christmas Special Link to programme page

The Christmas Special of 1977 featured a spoof of the cultish 'Starsky and Hutch' detective series.

According to the Radio Times this was described as "In another selection of classic sketches and routines from the comedy duo's shows, Eric and Ernie give their take on the 1970s American cop series Starsky & Hutch and have a run-in with Henry Cooper. Cliff Richard visits the flat and is persuaded to join them in a musical number, while Eric loses his voice. Featuring music by Small Faces, who perform All or Nothing" in 'The Perfect Morecambe and Wise' series.

The definitive Morecambe and Wise archive gives this broadcasting information :

Broadcast - 25th December 1977 | Running Time - 65 minutes | Written by - Eddie Braben

Guests - Penelope Keith, Elton John, Angharad Rees, Francis Matthews, Arthur Lowe, John le Mesurier, John Laurie, Richard Briers, Paul Eddington, James Hunt, Stella Starr, Michael Parkinson, Angela Rippon, Michael Aspel, Richard Baker, Frank Bough, Philip Jenkinson, Kenneth Kendall, Barry Norman, Eddie Waring, Richard Whitmore, Peter Woods, Sandra Dainty, Jenny Lee-Wright, Valerie Leon

Sketches - Starkers and Krutch, Names in lights, Eric's puppy, Poldark, Cornshire romance, Moving house, Nothing like a dame, Penelope meets Derek Moron, Cyrano De Bergerac, Penelope Keith on the stairs, Elton and the cleaning ladies

Notes - Christmas Show

Mini in Starsky and Hutch Livery

Mini screeches into view sporting the distinctive Starsky and Hutch livery

Mini Chase Mini Wheelie during chase

The obligatory hi-speed car chase mimicked in these views

Eric Morecambe walking the Mini

An armed Eric Morecambe escorting the Mini (complete with matching flashing light) or Ernie Wise (driving) to its destination!

1976 - James Bolam

James Bolam

'Likely Lad' James Bolam approves the new style British Leyland Mini - image courtesy of Flashback.com

1968

Charlotte Rampling

Charlotte Rambling graces the roof of a Mini in 1968!

The Mini can be found in the majority of the 1960s and 1970s British Television programmes - either being used as a star of the show or whilst driving around the towns and city centres in Britain, they are usually seen parked on the side of the roads. More minis than any other car type. Let's start with the re-vamped and very popular 'New Avengers' - Purdey 'borrows' a Mini.

A 1966 Morris Mini Minor MkI [ADO15] in The New Avengers, TV Series, 1976-1977 Ep. 1.10

Purdey in the Mini

The New Avengers Purdey and Mini

Purdey finds herself locked out of her flat (hence the kimono style pyjamas) and her part of London has come to a complete standstill. To attempt to join back up with Steed and Gambit, she has to find transport ........

Italian Job Poster

The most famous film featuring the Classic Mini Coopers - so popular 'MacGyver' borrowed them (see below)!

RT article on Cilla Black

Cilla Black would have liked to have played the girlfriend in 'The Italian Job' but her agent turned it down!

And of course Mini stole the show in a film about a heist in Turin! Footage from the film was used in a series one MacGyver episode thinly disguised within the plot of the episode called 'Thief of Budapest.'

Italian Job - 1969 DVD Cover

MacGuyver episode featuring Italian Job footage MacGuyver episode featuring Italian Job footage

Still wowing them in 2010 - from the film 'Wild Target' starring Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt and Rupert Grint - these three also known as Davy Jones, Young Victoria and Ronald Weasley.

Wild Target the 1990 red Mini Scene from Wild Target featuring the Mini and stars of the film

The 'Dr Who' Sequence

As this is quite a story in itself, the Doctor Who episode starring the Tardis and Yellow(ish) Mini with a supporting role by David Tennant as the eponymous doctor can be found here

Models and Advertisements

Where the Minis is being used as an accessory rather than a celebrity in itself, images will appear here / Designer Minis will have a place here / Limited Editions here / Posters will appear in the Gallery

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Page updated : 5th October 2016