Hollywood A-Listers Really Suck at Auditioning for British Airways' Safety Video

Ian McKellen, Thandie Newton, Gillian Anderson and Chiwetel Ejiofor Star in Comic Relief-Backed Effort

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on Jul 27, 2017

Editor's Pick

British Airways is the latest airline to turn its safety video into a comedy -- and it's enlisted a host of celebrity acting talent including Sir Ian McKellen, Gordon Ramsay Gillian Anderson, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Rowan Atkinson to help.

The star-studded video, made in collaboration with Comic Relief and BBH London, is based around the premise that British comedy actor Asim Chaudhry is auditioning the celebrities for a part in the video. He tells Oscar winner Ejiofor that the video could be his "big break," lectures Anderson for being too serious, leers over Thandie Newton and instructs Jim Broadbent to put a tray table upright but not say a word.

Elsewhere, Ian McKellen and Warwick Davis demonstrate oxygen masks and Rowan Atkinson fumbles with his change when trying to fill the charity donation envelope. Meanwhile, Gordon Ramsay discovers he's actually filling in for Joanna Lumley, with a handbag to match. Between all of them, they deliver the lines flyers are so familiar with, about emergency exits oxygen masks and brace positions, but imbue them with a fresh interest.

The new film, directed by Becky Martin through 2am Films, will be shown on flights from September 1.

Other airlines to have revamped their safety videos with comedy to regain passengers' attention include Delta, Air New Zealand and Virgin America -- while Turkish Airlines recently brought in a touch of magic with magician Zach King.

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Jul 27, 2017
BBH London
British Airways
Becky Martin
Production Company:
2AM Films
Creative Team:
Paul Silburn
Creative Team:
AK Parker
Creative Team:
George Brettell
Creative Director:
Paul Silburn
Strategy Director:
Achim Schauerte
Business Lead:
Brenda Frixa
Account Director:
Nick O'Donnell
Account Manager:
Tegwen Tucker
Agency Producer:
Natalie Parish
Assistant Producer:
Sarah Finnigan-Walsh
Executive Producer:
Nick Crabb
Gwilym Gwillim
Director of Photography:
Jamie Cairney
Post Production:
The Mill
Steve Ackroyd
Editing House:
Final Cut
Andy Stewart
Joe Wilkinson
String and Tins

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