A three part series. Steve Punt presents a new three part history of the Britain that’s ubiquitous yet unashamedly uncool. Steve argues the nation’s recent past has been hijacked by the fashionistas and that it’s time to celebrate the past as it really was - deeply unhip. Forget the Rolling Stones, Mary Quant and the Aston Martin, what Britons really love is a nice melody, a sensible coat and a reliable motor... 1) The Pakamac years: Steve re-imagines the 50s and 60s as the Pakamac Years. He argues that it wasn’t beatniks that epitomised the spirit of the era - but the foldaway mac. The Pakamac flew off the shelves in their tens of thousands as Britons rejoiced in the sheer novelty and practicality of a plastic raincoat which you could pop in your handbag. Steve also considers the importance of anoraks, cagoules, parkas and snorkels as emblems of uncool Britain. 2) The James Last years: Steve makes an assault on Punk, claiming it was James Last and his orchestra rather than Sid Vicious and his safety pins who embodied the 70s. Between the mid-60s and the mid-80s, Last racked up 52 hit albums - coming second only to Elvis. Whilst the Punks may have packed out a few obscure venues, James Last was selling out the Royal Albert Hall. Steve attempts to get to the bottom of how this German band-leader won over legions of Brits with his easy-listening tunes and why the maestro of the middle-of-the-road has never received credit for his chart-topping success. 3) The Austin Montego years: Today Steve takes to the road, remembering the Austin Maestro & Montego which were unveiled with great fanfare in the early 80s. Steve takes a drive in a Montego with motoring journalist Quentin Willson and attempts to get to grips with why history has been so unkind to these two sensible but unstylish motors. He hears from the voice behind the cars’ celebrated speech synthesiser, Nicolette McKenzie, and hears from dealers, designers and marketing men involved in the car’s launch
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