Are They Round the Bend? Executive Hires Car-Loving Pop Star Gary Numan to Front Its Green Campaign

Daily Mail (London), July 23, 2009 | Go to article overview

Are They Round the Bend? Executive Hires Car-Loving Pop Star Gary Numan to Front Its Green Campaign


Byline: Alan Roden Scottish Political Reporter

WITH his love of fast cars and aeroplanes, 1980s pop star Gary Numan is an unlikely choice to front an environmental campaign.

But the Scottish Executive yesterday baffled the Green lobby by choosing him to lead its attack on car use.

The 51-year-old will appear in a bizarre TV advert alongside a digital character called Mr Earth.

Critics last night questioned the logic of spending taxpayers' money on a self-confessed 'petrol head'.

Over the years, Numan has lived up to the name of his most famous hit - 1979's Cars - by sponsoring a racing car and owning a Ferrari and a TVR Cebera. He once described a car as 'your own little personal empire with four wheels on it'.

He also learned to fly and bought several planes, even successfully flying around the world. He went on to showcase Second World War combat planes at UK airshows .

Yesterday, Numan, who once hosted a TV car show, admitted he had been 'surprised' to be asked to front an environmental campaign.

The Executive has refused to reveal how much he was paid but the Go Greener campaign is costing the public purse [pounds sterling]448,000.

Last night, the Executive said the singer was 'exactly the type of person' the scheme is aimed at.

But Green MSP Patrick Harvie said: 'The choice of Gary Numan to front an advert on reducing car use seems a little odd.

'I understand the link to the song Cars but he's a strange choice all the same. They might as well have used Jeremy Clarkson.'

The ad starts with Numan singing his hit song, ending with the lyrics: 'It's the only way to live - in cars.'

Mr Earth then appears and scolds the pop star, saying: 'Aye, but not when you're just popping down the shops for the milk - eh, Gary? …

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