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Avengers 50th Anniversary

Mrs Peel… we’re needed!

June 2011 saw the biggest cast and crew reunion in 40 years as The Avengers descended on the our Bishop Otter Campus for a weekend of celebration.

Self-confessed Avenger’s super-fan Paul O'Grady was the headline host, interviewing Honor Blackman and Linda Thorson on the main stage and comparing the charity auction held in a re-creation of the Hellfire Club.

The event received worldwide media attention, local TV broadcast live from the campus and interviews with stars were played on primetime national radio.

The celebrations marked an academic study into a ground-breaking series that attracted a global following; the interviews means there is now an archive for researchers and fans alike to call upon.

The event was co-organised by Dr. Adam Locks and Michael Holley with Jaz Wiseman, who produced the special edition DVD sets of The Avengers for Optimum, but Adam was quick to acknowledge the contribution of all members of the Avengers Team.

It was a truly University-wide event: existing students took the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design and dress the campus in an Avengers theme, and worked long hours during the weekend to support guests and delegates, whilst staff from a wide range of departments also gave up their weekend to be part of the experience.

Student support extended to the production team, which was formed of more than 40 past and present students who covered the event and filmed interviews so that material could be archived.  Teams of students pitched their ideas about dressing the campus to a panel of experts, and the winners worked intensely with the Marketing team to develop their vision. 

Third year student Becky was part of the winning team:

The Avengers event allowed me to gain invaluable insight into Events Management, Marketing, Advertising and PR and left me with great hands-on experience that I can put on my CV as well as fantastic memories of such a unique event. From the early days of planning the weekend we were given access to all aspects of planning the event and our thoughts, ideas and opinions were listened to and it was so rewarding seeing them come to life on the weekend itself.

I don't think there is many students who can claim to have built a life size chessboard, created an umbrella tree, rubbed shoulders with Paul O'Grady AND have acted as a human wind-shield for a life-size poster of Linda Thorson whilst on Meridian News all in one day. We never felt like 'just students', by the end of the weekend we felt like valued members of the team. The Avengers weekend is without a doubt one of the best experiences I have had!

The convention was conducted in collaboration with the BFI, who provided screenings at the event, and Optimum/Studio Canal, who also provided screenings and supplied DVD box sets for weekend’s prizes.