Round two for Channel 4's original extreme sport campaign


Following the success of Channel 4’s inaugural Original Extreme Sport campaign, 4Creative have once again formed another unique promotional trail for this year’s Crabbie’s Grand National Festival (April 3rd – 5th).

This year, Channel 4’s Grand National trail focuses on the first ever recorded steeplechase which is reported to have taken place in 1752 as a result of a wager between Cornelius O'Callaghan and Edmund Blake. The competitive duo went on to race four miles between the spires of Buttevant Church and St Leger Church, Doneraile, Ireland; travelling along the banks of the Awbeg River at breakneck speed clearing stone walls, ditches and hedges in a show of strength, stamina and tremendous skill. Symbolising - the first ever original extreme sport of its day.


The five-day shoot took place in location sets from Northern Ireland to a UK racecourse scene. One of Northern Ireland’s leading tourist attractions, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, was elaborately dressed to represent a lively 18th century village at which the action started. Clandeboye Estate, Bangor provided the backdrop for woodland and field scenes; with Castle Ward in Downpatrick providing the beautiful backdrop for the end of the race.


The Devil's Horsemen, a Buckinghamshire-based company that specialise in equine stunts for films and commercials, supplied the racing thoroughbreds that expertly raced through villages, fields and woods, jumping over barrels and burning hay stacks. The two jockeys representing O’Callaghan and Blake were played by Will Willoughby and Richard Hansen, later replaced by the 19 times Champion jump jockey, AP McCoy, and Richard Johnson for a present day, ‘heading out to race’ scene.


Channel 4’s heavyweight Crabbie’s Grand National Festival campaign will premiere on all Channel 4 networks on Friday, March 21st at 9pm. Additional press shots were taken on the day with AP McCoy and Richard Johnson to support Channel 4’s coverage of the Grand National Festival.

The campaign was produced by 4Creative for Channel 4 Marketing with Creative Directors Chris Bovill and John Allison; and Keith McCarthy as Director. Tabby Harris successfully produced the trail with Shananne Lane as Executive Producer.


James Walker, Channel 4 Head of Marketing says: “The Grand National was a great success for us in 2013 and we want to build on The Original Extreme Sport strategy in 2014. Last year we focussed on the ‘extreme’ by showing a street race in Liverpool and this year we are bringing out the ‘original’ in a period drama with a twist.”

The sound track used is On the Run by New York-based punk band, Cerebral Ballzy.

Watch the full trail below.

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