Thursday, 17 April 2014


Today, Heathrow announces the public’s choice of the 10 most iconic departures in the world of film from the UK over the last century be it by plane, train, boat or car. The entries in the shortlist ranged from Michael Caine to Charlie Chaplin from Steve McQueen to Slumdog Millionaire.

Heathrow, which connects the UK to more than 80 countries around the globe, reveals the most iconic film journey is David Attenborough setting off from the UK to travel the globe and begin filming the famous ‘Life’ series, capturing wildlife in their natural habitat.


Coming second in list of legendary trips by leaders in film is Michael Caine’s departure to Turin, Italy according to the study conducted by Heathrow. This visit saw the filming of the now eponymous car chase scene in the legendary film ‘The Italian Job’.

Following the ‘Italian Job’ is Charlie Chaplin’s trip to America where he was propelled to superstardom after creating his iconic character ‘The Tramp’. Also making an appearance is Comic Relief’s first broadcast by Richard Curtis and Lenny Henry from the Sudan on Christmas Day in 1985.

The top 10 most popular film departures as voted by the nation include:

1.       David Attenborough begins the famous Life series  travelling the globe to document wildlife in their natural habitats [38.4%]
2.       Michael Caine films the iconic car chase scenes from 'The Italian job' in Turin, Italy [26.7%]
3.       A young Charlie Chaplin travels to America on tour with Fred Karno's prestigious comedy company. It is on this trip that he joined New York Motion Picture Studios with whom he developed the character The Tramp, which made him a worldwide superstar [26.2.%]
4.       Comic Relief is founded in 1985 by the comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry and is first broadcast on Christmas Day 1985 from a refugee camp in Sudan [22.4%]
5.       The cast of Monty Python travel to Tunisia to begin filming 'Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian'. The film is a huge success and goes on to be considered as one of the greatest comedy films of all time [18.4%]
6.       Laurence Olivier travels to Hollywood to begin filming his role as Heathcliff in 'Wuthering Heights', a role that marked  a turning point in his career, bringing him American success and to Olivier becoming one of the greatest actors of the 20th Century [15.7%]
7.       Julie Andrews travels to Walt Disney Studios, California to film the Disney hit Mary Poppins [15.5%]
8.       Turner Prize winning artist and director, Steve McQueen, toured Iraq  as an official war artist using the experience to create the piece Queen and Country commemorating soldiers who lost their life in the Iraq War between 2003 and 2008 [15%]
9.       Following being cast in the role of Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe flies to Los Angeles to begin filming [8.2%]
10.   Dev Patel the lead actor of Slumdog Millionaire travels to India to begin filming, the film went on to receive eight Oscars [6.2%]

Historian, Dominic Sandbrook, said, “Britain has always been a land of explorers and entertainers, inventors and innovators. It’s no surprise to see the great landmarks and legendary figures from film on the list. But I think the public’s choices also reflect our historic strengths in everything from philanthropy and popular culture to science and technology. It’s a valuable reminder that we’re at our best when we face outwards, as a nation of international ambitions and global horizons.”

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s Development Director, commented, “For seventy years, Heathrow has witnessed amazing departures and welcomed an array of British talent back home. The many iconic journeys in film that feature in the top ten all demonstrate how important it is to have a world class hub directly connecting the UK to future international success.”

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