Friday, 22 May 2015

Great Moments in Doctor Who Eurovision History - part one*

It will soon be the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest where the nations of Europe (and Australia) will gather in Vienna to camp it up something rotten. 

I am reminded of a 1960s Kellogg's cereal promotion that coincided with the re-launch of their savory breakfast cereal brand - Porky Pops. (See also here.) 

One of the few - in fact, the only - successful side of the original Porky Pops launch was its distinctive Doctor Who branding. Indeed, empty boxes are still much sought after collector's items. (Collectors prefer them empty as stale Porky Pops not only contravene many international chemical weapon agreements, they also smell a bit like rank semen.) 

In 1968, to coincide with that year's Eurovision Song Contest, Kellogg's chose to relaunch Porky Pops with a special offer. Collect 47 packet tops and the customer could send off for 'Patrick Troughton's Book of the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest'. 

This was a paperback publication with over a hundred pages of information about the popular music festival written by the famous actor Patrick Troughton - himself a longtime devotee of good music. Despite this, he produced a worthy tome that is still recognised today as the definitive work on the subject of the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest. 

Sadly, problems with the Porky Pops themselves meant that the product was quickly withdrawn when it was discovered that the cereal in fact contained more than the regulation vegetable substitute pork rind than was legally allowed by the British Crunchy Snack Board. 

Unsold boxes ended up in China where they were used to plug gaps in The Great Wall making them it the only breakfast cereal that could be seen from space.  

* Actually, it's the only part.

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