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Ads We Like: A fond farewell as Virgin Trains' 90s spoof music video marks 'final whistle'

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By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

November 21, 2019 | 3 min read

After 22 years of chugging up and down the country, the time has come to say a final 'ta-ra' to Virgin Trains.

Barry and Blobby

Barry and Blobby

To mark the end, Virgin Trains has unveiled a bittersweet spoof music video 'Final Whistle' set to the iconic Dirty Dancing track '(I've Had) The Time of my Life.'

Starring Sir Richard Branson himself, the video also features stars from 1997 - when the franchise began - alongside familiar 2019 faces.

Created by Cubaka, the tongue-in-cheek spot opens with bumbling Mr Blobby embarking an original Virgin Train from 1997. The train operator - Branson - uses the intercom to tell passengers: "All aboard your non-stop Virgin train, from 1997 to 2019. This will be our final journey."

Looking into the camera, Branson says "Thank you for using Virgin Trains," before promptly placing a boombox on his shoulder, and the whole train transforms into a music video.

Starting from the 90s, we are taken on a final train journey through all that has happened in the past 22 years, going from 90s gear and mobiles as big as bricks to tickets on mobiles and 'Beam' streaming on iPads.

'Final Whistle' also stars Shaun Williamson (hapless 'Barry from Eastenders), football presenter Chris Kamara and dragon icon, Anna Phylactic.

In April, it was announced that the distinctive red trains would no longer be running, when Virgin Trains had its bid to continue the franchise from London Euston to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, North Wales and Edinburgh rejected.

The Department for Transport deemed Virgin Trains bid was "non-compliant" in respect of pension provisions

Discussing the final goodbye campaign, Phil Whittingham, managing director of Virgin Trains said: “Of course we’re extremely sad that Virgin Trains is disappearing as a train operator, but we wanted to leave as we entered: by having fun.

"We’re immensely proud of our track record over more than two decades and hope our customers enjoyed traveling with us as much as we enjoyed serving them.”

Virgin Trains: The Final Whistle by Cubaka

By Virgin Trains

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