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Issue Date:- 5 May 2008


FORGET iPods, sat navs and the other latest technological advancements of the new millennium. The North West of England is a region that champions retro-chic as most people would like to relive the neon-lit days of the 1980s, according to new research by Little Chef.

Little Chef asked over 1,600 people what they would bring back from the worlds of TV, music and fashion over the past 50 years, to mark the roadside restaurant chain’s 50th birthday celebrations on 13 May 2008, which will see Michelin-starred chef, Heston Blumenthal revamp the iconic brand as part of a Channel 4 documentary later this year.

Nostalgia, it seems, is very much back in vogue with 73% of people in the North West of England thinking that retro-chic has made a revival. Whereas almost a 3rd of men thought that the 60’s was the best decade to live, 36% of women prefer the 80’s – the era of shoulder pads and New Romantic music. Although it seems that the region’s love for the 1980s has its limits, as perms – the iconic hairstyle of the decade – was the fashion trend that would make the most unwelcome return, bucking recent attempts to bring the must mocked hairdo back.

In fact, according to people from the North West of England, we would most like to spend our days watching ‘Tis Was’ and ‘Swap Shop’ on TV, wearing a halter neck top and bell bottoms, while we listen to the Beatles on the radio and eat a black forest gateau. These are the things that we would most like to bring back from the past!

Cathy Stevenson, head of marketing at Little Chef comments:- “Little Chef has been serving up great roadside food since 1958, and so to mark our 50th birthday celebrations, we wanted to canvas the opinions of people in the North West of England to find out what trends and celebrities they would most like to see make a revival.  Some of the results were surprising and quite unpredicted, but what was clearly apparent is that retro-chic is now firmly part of our lives, with eight out of ten people believing that this is the case. This can be seen through the region’s obsession with retro nights, clothes and music.”

Leading the way as the greatest revival of all time is Take That, with over half of those surveyed agreeing that the band’s takeover of the charts has earned them the top spot for ‘Best Comeback’. Despite Paul McCartney and Heather Mills’ divorce battle, the North West of England’s love for The Beatles remains strong with 34% of the people surveyed stating the group was the one people most wanted back in the charts.

Swap Shop, topped the poll as the number 1 kids’ TV show people in the North West want to see back on our screens, with other classics like Tis Was’, ‘Rainbow and Button Moonalso featuring in the top 10.  The children’s TV presenter we would most like to see make a return to the small screen is Phillip Schofield – with 32% of the region clearly having a soft spot for the mischief that he and Gordon the Gopher used to get up to in the broom cupboard!

The survey also revealed the nation’s opinions on formerly popular food. Despite the likes of Angel Delight and Iced Gems tickling our taste buds, 1 in 5 people in the North West of England voted the Black Forest Gateaux as their favourite food.

Cathy Stevenson concludes:- “We know Little Chef inspires fond memories for many people across the country, and, like the things identified in the research, we do have a certain retro charm we are keen not to lose. However, we are not living in the past, which is why we’re using our 50th birthday as the time to relaunch our new look and offering later this year."    

If you have an opinion on what you would like to Bring Back?  Please email us and let us know...

Depp and Clarkson top road trip fantasy list

JOHNNY Depp has been revealed as the person women would most want to accompany them on their fantasy road trip, however, men certainly aren't looking for any eye candy on their trip as the person they'd most like to accompany them is Jeremy Clarkson!

Women's car insurance specialist, Diamond asked 1,000 motorists about what would make up their fantasy road trip, and the women's list of dream passengers was dominated by handsome male film stars with Johnny Depp followed by George Clooney and Brad Pitt in the top 3. But men take a different approach and following Jeremy Clarkson, Kylie Minogue and Angelina Jolie are more unusual celebrities such as Stephen Fry, David Attenborough and even Elvis!

Diamond managing director, Sian Lewis, commented:- "Women seem to want something nice to look at to help them enjoy their drive, however, it seems that men want to talk about the car they're driving, be kept amused, learn about nature or be sung a song along the way! Maybe men are worried that they won't be able to concentrate with a beautiful woman in the passenger seat!"

Although Tony Blair's no longer Prime Minister, he's left an imprint on people's minds as both women and men vote him as the person they'd least like to accompany them on their fantasy road trip. For women, Tony Blair is followed by Victoria Beckham and current PM Gordon Brown in the unpopularity stakes, and men have the PM in second followed closely by Jade Goody. Women and men also agree on where they'd want to take their fantasy road trip with America coming out on top, with Route 66 a particular favourite.

To finish off the fantasy both women and men would opt for an Aston Martin to drive the hours away. This is followed by Porches and Audis for women and Ferraris and Audis for men.

Sian then add:- "When you put this all together, women's ultimate fantasy road trip would be driving across America in an Aston Martin with Johnny Depp in the passenger seat and the men's equivalent would be driving the same car in the same place but with Jeremy Clarkson in the passenger seat. I know who I'd rather be with!".

Step into spring for Help the Aged in the Wirral!

HELP the Aged is encouraging local residents to put their best foot forward and get involved in the Charity’s annual fundraising event 'The Big Spring Walk', which will see people across the Wirral area walking this spring to raise vital funds for disadvantaged older people.

There are a number of ways that people can take part in 'The Big Spring Walk' whether it is hosting a walk of their own or attending the Help the Aged organised walk which is taking place in The Wirral Way, West Kirby, Wirral, Cheshire on Saturday 10 May 2008 from 11am.

The Wirral event will see friends and family coming together to participate in the 4 mile circular walk which begins at the Victoria promenade in West Kirby (the starting point of The Wirral Way) and takes in many of the landmarks of this beautiful coastal park.

There is also a cafe along the route so walkers can come and have a great day out!

Entrance (registration) for adults is £5 and children walk free when accompanied by an adult.

Walkers can register before the event or on the day... so please contact Christine Blease on 0161 494 7887.

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