Dome's Hit-and-Miss History Tour

Article excerpt


SUMMING up a millennium's worth of historical milestones in a mere 60 seconds was the brief.

But juggling the discovery of penicillin with walking on the Moon, Darwin's theory of evolution with Newton's laws of gravity, was not going to be easy.

So the new television commercial for the Millennium Dome didn't even attempt it.

In its list of the greatest achievements of the past 1,000 years, such epoch-making events don't rate a mention.

The commercial, launched yesterday as part of a [pounds sterling]30million advertising campaign for the Millennium Dome, is more remarkable for what it leaves out than what it includes.

Narrated by actor Jeremy Irons, it starts with the sun rising over the famous Easter Island statues off the west coast of South America.

Viewers are asked to imagine that the achievements of the past 1,000 years took place in just one day.

Then follows a summary of events, such as the consecration of Westminster Abbey in 1065, the writings of Shakespeare and, more recently, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid.

The commercial lightheartedly mentions Sir Walter Raleigh returning from America with the potato in 1588 and the Earl of Sandwich coming up with the first sandwich in the 1780s. It also includes Michelangelo, Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, the moon landing and the invention of television. …