By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

June 3, 2019 | 3 min read

After Hovis' 'Boy on the Bike' was crowned the 'most iconic' UK ad of all time last month, Ridley Scott Associates (RSA) has enlisted the British Film Institute (BFI) to remaster the classic film.

46 years after it was filmed by up-and-coming British filmmaker Ridley Scott, the heartwarming ad will return to TV's tonight after the BFI National Archives extensively restored it.

Filmed in 1973, 'The Boy on the Bike' tells the tender tale of a little boy struggling to push a bike loaded with bread up a steep and cobbled street, in post-war Britain.

Against the emotive backdrop of Antonín Dvorak's New World, after reaching the top of Gold Hill to drop off his bread delivery, the boy is seen freewheeling all the way down the steep hill to a voiceover: "T'was like taking bread to top of the world - t'was a grand ride back though."


Last month, research firm Kantar surveyed over 1000 consumers in the UK to discover the most 'iconic' and 'heartwarming' ad of the past 60 years.

After 'Boy on the Bike' advert took the top sport, RSA decided to get BFI onboard to remaster and 4K digital restore the film.

The revamp includes a re-recording of Dvorak's New World Symphony by a new generation of the original Ashington Colliery brass band.

The ad will air tonight (3 June) on ITV and will be showing during peak times throughout June.


Discussing the return of its iconic ad to TV's, Hovis' marketing director Jeremy Gibson 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. ‘Boy on the Bike’ was the launch pad for the modern Hovis brand and laid the foundations for us to be one of Britain’s favourite wholemeal and seeded bread."

Adding to this, Ridley Scott commented: “I’m thrilled that the ‘Boy on the Bike’, 46 years on, is still regarded as such an iconic and heart-warming story which remains close to the heart of the nation. I remember the filming process like it was yesterday, and its success represents the power of the advert.

"It taught me that when you combine the appropriate music and the appropriate film you have lift off. In fact, advertising taught me everything I know, and I brought this knowledge forward into film.”

Creative Hovis Ridley Scott

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