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Television PR

Drama reveal the real Mr Darcy

Posted on February 9th, 2017 in Book PR,Television PR.

Leading academics reveal how the Pride and Prejudice heartthrob would have really looked… and he’s no Colin Firth

The mission to discover the real Mr Darcy was commissioned by TV channel Drama to celebrate Jane Austen Season, which starts on Sunday 12th February. 

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 A new, historically accurate portrait of the most admired and revered romantic leading man in literary history, Fitzwilliam Darcy, has been unveiled for the first time, following new research by leading academics.

 The new portraits paint a very different picture of the literary heartthrob when compared to modern day TV depictions, portrayed by Hollywood actors such as Colin Firth, Elliot Cowan and Matthew MacFadyen.

Instead of tall, dark and handsome, research reveals that Jane Austen’s fictional character, Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, would have been pale with powdered white hair. He would also have had a long nose, sloping shoulders and pointy chin – a far cry from muscular modern day TV representations.

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The mission to discover the real Mr Darcy was commissioned by TV channel Drama to celebrate Jane Austen Season, which starts on Sunday 12th February.

The study, The Real Mr Darcy – a dramatic re-appraisal carried out by John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature at University College London and Amanda Vickery, Professor of Early Modern History at Queen Mary University of London, highlights how the qualities considered attractive have dramatically changed over the past two centuries.

The academics conducted a month-long study, investigating Austen’s personal life and relationships, drawing conclusions on who may have been the inspiration for Mr Darcy. Researchers looked into the existing descriptions and illustrations of the character, along with the socio-economic and cultural factors that would contribute to Darcy’s background, appearance and lifestyle.

 Key findings of the research reveal the real Mr Darcy would have had:

  • Powered mid-length white hair
  • A long oval face with a small mouth, pointy chin and long nose
  • Pale complexion – pink and white skin
  • Slender sloping shoulders and modest chest
  • Large quads, thighs and calves
  • A height of 5ft 11” (in comparison to Colin Firth’s 6ft 2” and the 6ft 3” Matthew MacFadyen)

Leading artist Nick Hardcastle took the academic research and brought the descriptions to life in a series of unique illustrations.

 The Real Mr Darcy – a dramatic re-appraisal study revealed that Mr Darcy’s white powdered hair is reflective of the norms of the Austen era, with mid-length hair favoured over the shorter crop of today. The illustrations highlight Darcy’s pale complexion, a sign of wealth and privilege, and his long oval face shape. In the late 1790s, square jaws were practically unheard of amongst the upper classes, with the pointy chin and small mouth evident on Mr Darcy very common features of the gentlemen of the era.

Strong legs were an attractive and important feature to females of the time, with well-modelled thighs a sign of virility, a good fencer and horseman. The real Mr Darcy would also have been akin to many of the landed gentry of the time, with slim sloping shoulders. A muscular chest and broad shoulders was the sign of a labourer, not a gentleman. 

Jane Austen’s romances have been well researched and documented over the centuries and it is believed that it was the 1st Earl of Morley John Parker, who was the inspiration for Mr Darcy. She also had a rumoured romance with Thomas Lefroy and it is likely he too provided inspiration for the character. Both men sported powdered hair and had long youthful faces with pale complexions. Other noblemen at the time, including Horatio Nelson, Leveson Gower and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, all also had similar features and were considered the pin-ups and sex symbols of their time.

Professor John Sutherland says, “There are only scraps of physical description of Fitzwilliam Darcy to be found in Pride and Prejudice; he is our most mysterious and desirable leading man of all time. What’s fantastic about Jane Austen’s writing is that Mr Darcy is both of the era and timeless. Our research for TV channel Drama’s ‘Jane Austen Season’ shows how Austen herself envisioned Mr Darcy, however the literature leaves space for the reader’s imagination to create their own Darcy and bring their own fantasies to the storyline.”

Professor Amanda Vickery says, “Mr Darcy is an iconic literary character, renowned for his good looks, charm and mystery. As Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice in the 1790s, our Mr Darcy portrayal reflects the male physique and common features at the time. Men sported powdered hair, had narrow jaws and muscular, defined legs were considered very attractive. A stark contrast to the chiselled, dark, brooding Colin Firth portrayal we associate the character with today.

“Drama’s The Real Mr Darcy – a dramatic re-appraisal study reveals that in recent times, Darcy’s character has been sexed up for the modern day audience with a turbo-charged injection of testosterone and steamy romance.”

Adrian Wills, General Manager of Drama says, “It’s incredible to finally see how Jane Austen may have actually been envisioning her Mr Darcy when she wrote Pride and Prejudice. Drama viewers will have loved the handsome and brooding portrayals of Mr Darcy by some of their favourite actors, so we are delighted to offer up another in time for Valentine’s Day. These illustrations might lead to a slightly different imagining of one of the most famous romantic heroes of all time”

TV channel Drama’s Jane Austen Season, from midday every Sunday from the 12th February until the 19th March. The season includes Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Mansfield Park.  

 Jane Austen Season starts for Valentine’s Day on Sunday 12 February at midday on Drama and available to catch up on UKTV Play www.uktvplay.co.uk

For further details and to read the full research paper, please visit: http://corporate.uktv.co.uk/news/

Whodunnit? #SherlockLive takes Twitter by storm

Posted on January 11th, 2017 in Consumer PR,Digital PR,Entertainment Brands,Online PR,PR Stunt,Stunt Of The Day,Television PR.

Well, last night was surely a treat for fans of the popular BBC One crime drama Sherlock. The fourth series of the programme aired on 1st January and has since been gripping fans of the show. To celebrate the new series, writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss tweeted live to fans in the character of Sherlock on the official @BBCOne Twitter page last night (10th January).

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Fans were given the opportunity to solve a new mystery online and in real-time through the use of Twitter, users had to crack the murder case of Daniel Collard with a series of clues provided through Tweets. Case files, police interviews and suspects lists were given to users to aid them in solving the case. A series of polls were also created to increase the interactive aspect.

Jo Pearce, the creative digital director at BBC Wales mentions it was an idea already in the works. “It’s an idea we’ve had for some time – I’ve just been waiting for the right opportunity to try it out.”

This was a genius way of encouraging fan interaction and giving fans something exciting to look forward to, as opposed to just watching the show. It further introduces new fans to the TV show who may have not known of its existence prior – as Twitter is such a huge social media platform, trends attract new audiences. The BBC and the writers of Sherlock created something well thought through; they were able to spot their target audience and created a stunt which coincides with their interests. It was a huge win for all involved.

– @JohnnyBarnes_

 

Sherlock keep fans guessing with John Watson’s baby announcement

Posted on December 14th, 2016 in Consumer PR,Entertainment Brands,PR Stunt,stuff we liked,Stunt Of The Day,Television PR.

The Sherlock crew have taken subtle marketing to new lengths as only eagle eyed readers could have spotted the small addition hidden in the announcements page of the Daily Telegraph revealing the name of the unborn offspring of John and Mary Watson. The understated location of the news did not take long to explode onto the internet as fans pawed over the little information given, desperately searching for possible hints and clues to do with the hotly anticipated fourth season. And thus Rosamund Mary Watson has been launched into the Sherlock world.

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With the show’s clever and cryptic nature already well established the fans have been sent into overdrive grasping at possible meanings behind the post. Some theorised that the name itself may have been a nod to another character in the Sherlock universe as the initials are the same as Rachel Wilson, the still born girl featured in a Study in Pink. Others went a step further and engaged in historical research and discovered a Victorian figure who shared the same first and last names as the child. Both of these pieces of information however do not reveal anything and the name might just actually be a name and nothing more. A classic red herring, designed to tease.

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The quote that seems to be getting every Sherlock fan in a frenzy refers to Sherlock’s new obsession with his phone and may be a running theme of the new storyline.  This may be perhaps due to Watson’s new status as a father as Sherlock has been shown to struggle with changes to the status quo and Watson’s changing priorities in the past.

It is again the lack of information that seems to be driving the arguably already fanatical fandom into overdrive as they eagerly await the first episode of the new series due to air on New Year’s Day. The information that we do have is that Sherlock will be battling with his inner demons following the infamous “did you miss me” final scene of the third series. Toby Jones has been cast as this season’s new antagonist as he threatens to reveal Sherlock’s deepest and darkest secrets to his nearest and dearest. As someone who has battled with addiction and is a self-confessed high functioning sociopath it will be interesting to discover what secrets he may still be harbouring. It is still unclear if Sherlock’s ultimate adversary Moriarty will make a magical re-appearance. However stranger things have happened on Sherlock already.

We shall all have to wait until 1st January 2017 to see if there are any truths behind the rampant rumour mill.

-Gfpvincent91

Smell along with Netflix and the Gilmore Girls for a seasonal treat

Posted on December 1st, 2016 in App PR,brand PR,branded content,Consumer PR,Film PR,PR Stunt,Stunt Of The Day,Television PR.

Netflix and television binging sessions go hand in hand and most people will already be aware of the classic “are you still watching?” screen that flashes up after a few episodes are watched in a row. With the release of Gilmore Girls: A year in the Life, new and old fans are rushing to Netflix to re-watch the original series as well as the special four 90 minute seasonally themed episodes.

To compliment this, Netflix have released a sensual product to accompany the viewing experience of the new series. An extra special candle has been announced which has four scent layers that correspond with the season each episode is set in. They have been created with a burn time that mirrors each episodes run length to make you feel as if you are in Star’s Hollow along with Lorelai, Rory and the gang.

In fact the candle has been timed so specifically it has been said that it will dramatically extinguish after the final shocking four words are spoken, which I won’t spoil here, and the screen fades to black. The candle has been created by Netflix in partnership with the creative minds at TBWA/Chiat/Day and will be part of a limited giveaway for fans in Europe, U.S and Asia for a heightened experience that appeals to the senses. So throw on your onesies, grab your favourite snack and enjoy!

-gfpvincent91

Spain hits the jackpot again with lottery Christmas campaign 2016

Posted on November 16th, 2016 in Consumer PR,Regional PR,stuff we liked,Stunt Of The Day,Television Industry PR,Television PR.

Clocking up 3m views on YouTube already, the Spanish lottery has produced a real tear-jerker in the form of its Christmas advert this year, set to give the British campaigns a run for their money yet again.

Playing on the heartstrings of the world yet again, the 2016 advert tells the story of Carmina, a retired teacher, who mistakes the previous year’s broadcast of the Christmas Lottery (El Gordo, held every year on the 22nd December), for the present and believes she is holding the winning ticket. However, rather than disappoint the jubilant grandmother, the people of Villaviciosa, a town on the Eastern coastline of Spain, gather and celebrate her ‘victory’.

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The Christmas lottery has been embedded in Spanish society since the 19th century, and the live broadcast of the event lasts several hours with students from Madrid’s San Difenso School singing the winning numbers out.

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In recent years, La Lotería’s big-budget campaigns have proved just as important as the event itself , after a very successful 2015 hit which featured Justino, the security guard who worked lonely night shifts in a mannequin factory, and the 2014 sentimental story of Manu, who hadn’t bought a share in the sweepstake at his local bar.

– izzirichards