Has Bedford Been Ad? Answers to Correspondents

Daily Mail (London), October 9, 2003 | Go to article overview

Has Bedford Been Ad? Answers to Correspondents


QUESTION

Are the athletes in the 118 118 directory inquiries TV ad meant to be David Bedford, Britain's world record holder from the Seventies?

FURTHER to the earlier answer from The Number, the company that runs the ads, suggesting that the 118 118 characters were inspired not by David Bedford but by American runner Steve Prefontaine, Mr Bedford himself, now 53 and a director of the Flora London Marathon, has begun legal moves claiming compensation.

In his opinion, and that of his legal representatives, his image has been used without his consent. The ad campaign has helped the company carve out almost half the directory inquiries market and a lot of money is at stake.

If Mr Bedford's case succeeds, he could expect a settlement of [pounds sterling]100,000 to [pounds sterling]250,000.

I doubt if many people in the UK will even remember the late Steve Prefontaine. Looking at the two runners in the ads, in their Great Britain gear, I, and millions of others, thought I was seeing a skit on our onetime 10,000m world record holder David Bedford.

Elizabeth Barton-Brown, London W1.

THE NUMBER, the company that runs the directory inquiries number 118 118, claims ignorance that the runner is me.

I have proof that the ad was based on me. This matter is with my legal advisers.

David Bedford, London.

QUESTION Is the term pizza an American invention or does it have Italian connections?

TODAY, the pizza is associated with giant U.S. chains such as Pizza Hut and Domino's. But pizza, in one form or another, has been around for at least 3,000 years.

Greek historian Herodotus described Babylonian dishes very similar to a modern pizza, the ancient Greeks ate plakuntos - flat, round breads baked with oil, garlic, onion, herbs and spices - and Roman statesman Cato, writing in 200BC, describes flat, round breads with spices on top.

The Greeks colonised southern Italy, bringing plakuntos with them. The Romans added more ingredients to the toppings, calling it picea, a word that described the blackening of bread in an oven, and this became 'pizza'.

The modern pizza is characterisedby two particular ingredients: mozzarella and tomato. Mozzarella was introduced to Italy by the Lombards, a Germanic tribe who invaded Italy in about AD 600.

They brought with them buffalo which provided the milk for the mozzarella.

Introduction of the tomato was much later, when it was brought to Italy from Mexico and Peru in 1522.

As pizza's popularity grew, brick or stone ovens sprang up all over Italy, particularly in Naples.

Reportedly, the first pizzeria was Port' Alba in Naples in 1830. …

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