23 January 2009

Fly Fishing By JR Hartley

There used to be a pub near where I live called The Old English Gentleman, and that title fitted JR Hartley, star of a 1983 Yellow Pages telly ad, to perfection.

We discovered Mr Hartley, played by actor Norman Lumsden, making his way around various second hand bookshops, seeking a copy of an out of print book called Fly Fishing. To no avail. His concerned daughter ("No luck, Dad?") handed him a cup of tea and the Yellow Pages when he returned home, and very soon he'd found a copy of the book.

It was then that we discovered he was the author.

It was a thoroughly delightful ad and JR Hartley became very popular indeed. In 1991, a book called Fly Fishing was published, bearing his name, and this was followed by a couple of sequels - one on golf, which Mr H took up in 1994.

Norman Lumsden had a varied and successful career - he was also an opera singer. But, from 1983 onwards, it was as JR Hartley that many fans thought of him, and lovers of good telly ads were greatly saddened by his death in 2001.

But the legend of JR Hartley lives on, and he remains one of the fondest remembered TV ad characters not only of the 1980s, but of all time!

See the ad below.


Tara Lou said...

What a lovely sweet ad that was!

Martyn said...

Nice comments. It was a great ad. You say you lived near a pub called "Th Old English Gentleman". Where was it. I worked near one that was just down the road from Marble Arch.

Drew said...

Hello, Martyn! Thanks for the feedback. My "Old English Gentleman" pub was in Cambridge.

e d pirie said...

I recently went to a bootsale and was surprised to find fly fishing by J R Hartley leather bound in mint condition,it was a great read.