THE INSIDE TRACK • June 2023
Everything that makes Britain unique and original inspired our new safety video. It’s a celebration of our nation’s timeless quirks and remarkable people – among them our very own colleagues. In total, more than 75 of them supported the final video – from flight and Cabin Crew teams to those in our Engineering and Customer Care Centres
They appear alongside a smattering of recognisable faces, including Ncuti Gatwa, currently preparing for his Doctor Who debut later this year, rapper Little Simz, ITV journalist and broadcaster Robert Peston, Kaya Scodelario from hit show Skins, entrepreneur and BBC One Dragon Steven Bartlett, plus tennis megastar Emma Raducanu, chef Tom Kerridge and Ozwald Boateng, our new uniform designer. The five-minute video went live on board last month.
But what does it take to get one of our famous safety videos off the ground? Our charming cast takes us behind the curtain to find out...
Team Leader, Manchester Engagement Centre
Skip to: 2:14-2:24
The constant battle with the oxygen mask was certainly amusing – we were, after all, using a makeshift metal pole and demo safety mask to get the shot. It took the crew 45 minutes to perfect a three-second clip of a bag going under a seat, so you can imagine how long my bit took! There was definitely a thrill hearing that first “Three, two, one, action!”, and a real sense that we were part of British Airways history. An unmissable opportunity, really. Having seen the full video, I love how different it is from previous iterations: it highlights so many little expressions of Britishness – the “Who doesn’t love attention?” still makes me laugh.
Do you think you could have been an actor in another life? After this experience, I’m planning on doing it in this life!
Partnership Portfolio Manager, Global Marketing
Skip to: 4:35
On the day of shooting, I went to Tom Kerridge’s two Michelin-starred pub in Marlow to watch his scenes and can confirm that he is just as lovely and down to earth as everyone says he is. It was so lovely to hear that chipper “Morning!” in his West Country accent. I shot my line – “Thank you” – out in the local park, with no time for hair or make-up. The misty weather was the true stylist that day and took my hair to new heights, as you can see. That said, I was very impressed with how the whole thing was organised and the final product. The way the music builds and the very best of Britain and our brand shines through in those final 30 seconds is just brilliant.
Which safety video is your favourite? This one! I really liked the previous safety videos with Chabuddy G, which had the humour and the celebrities, but this version goes so much deeper into the vast audiences and cultures that make up Britain and British Airways.
Skip to: 1:01-1:09
The crazy thing about the safety video is that I wasn’t supposed to be in it at all, but they noticed I was wearing overalls and one of them said they wanted someone in work gear to deliver a line. I immediately replied, “Yes, no problem!” and was handed the script. Let’s just say it took a lot of takes to get the perfect shot. I didn’t help matters – I had to write my lines on the bottom of a cardboard box so I wouldn’t forget them. One of the crew held it up. Overall, it was a great experience – I met lots of lovely people on the day and now it’s done, my friends and family can watch it and see me having fun. That’s pretty cool, too.
Best part of the day? The catering truck.
Senior First Officer, A380
Skip to: 0:40-0:43
My job was to turn the cockpit lights off. My fellow ‘stars’ are now friends, and spending time with them in the truck that was arranged for us was truly the highlight of the day. I look forward to flying with them all soon. As for the celebrities, I have to admit that I had to Google the rapper Little Simz, but I do know Emma Raducanu and Steven Bartlett. I couldn’t be an actor – there’s so much waiting around! But it was worth it, in this case, to play a small role in such a fantastic representation of Great Britain.
Favourite moment from the final video? When cabin crew member Sima does her famous wink. She is such a lovely person – that wink makes me smile every time!
Heathrow Cabin Crew
Skip to: 0:15-0:27
I always got the part of the sheep in my school nativity plays, so an actor I am most definitely not – I think I probably ended up frightening the extras with my scary Anne Robinson wink! At the start of the day, I was a nervous wreck, completely out of my comfort zone and regressing to some sort of caricature of a 1990s safety PA. But a few expletives later and I got there, and now I’m so pleased I took part. I didn’t get to meet any celebrities, unless you count our home-grown celebrity colleague Matt Whipp (Manager Cabin Safety). I tried to charm Matt into letting me out of Safety & Emergency Procedures training since I had valiantly put myself forward for the safety video. Hey, a girl can try! At the end of the shoot, everyone started clapping and I have to admit I did get a little emotional. It was so amazing to see everyone coming together from around the UK and around the business. Having seen the final video, “Archie shut up” and the inflation of the life jackets gets me every time.
Why did you put yourself forward? I jokingly asked my children if I should apply and, after a resounding “Yes” from them, I auditioned, not believing I’d be successful. To my children’s delight, I was wrong.