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With which UK ad did Ridley Scott make his name

01:00 Mon 14th Jan 2002 |

A.� Director Ridley Scott became a household name when his company dreamed up the Hovis commercial, where a bike was pushed up a cobbled street, in 1975. The ad - along with Mr Kipling's 'exceedingly good cakes' - became one of the most revered commercials of that year. Scott went into commercials, first as a designer, then as director. He founded his own company in 1968, Ridley Scott Associates, which still exists today and most recently made an ad for Orange mobile phones. Scott is said to have spearheaded a generation of commercial directors, including David Puttnam, Alan Parker, Hugh Hudson and Adrian Lyne, who transformed the face of British advertising.

Q.� When did Ridley Scott start to make films

A.� The Teeside-educated director made his first film in 1965 as a student. It was called Boy On A Bicycle, and was made with a borrowed camera and his father and brother were actors. In 1967, he used the profits from advertising to make The Duellists, a costume drama based on a Joseph Conrad story. The film won the special jury prize at Cannes, and in 1979, he was invited to direct Alien., a box office winner with Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, the female hero.

Then in 1982, he made Blade Runner, which was neither a box office nor critical hit at the time; today it is venerated as a classic.

The 1985 film in which he invested most time and effort - Legend, which starred a young Tom Cruise - is his biggest failure.

In 1991, Scott directed Thelma & Louise, starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, which became one of the most popular films of the Nineties.

Russell Crowe in Gladiator in 2000 won Scott a string of Academy Awards, and he was behind last year's Hannibal, the continuing story of Hannibal Lecter.

Scott hasn't won a best Director Oscar for his films, but Thelma & Louise and Gladiator have both picked up best film.

Of the 13 films he has made, four have been colossal box office successes - Alien, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator and Hannibal.

He had less success with the films he made after Thelma & Louise, which included 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), White Squall (1996) and GI Jane (1997).

Q.� What is his latest project

A.� Scott has just finished�Black Hawk Down, which is based on a true incident. It is the shooting down of an American Black Hawk helicopter in Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993, and the resulting firefight which left 18 Americans and hundreds of Somalis dead.� The film stars Ewan McGregor, Jason Isaacs and Josh Hartnett.

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By Katharine MacColl

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