Peter York On Ads

Adjustamatic: Nice bed, shame about the colours

He's Harrovian, called Aubrey de Grey, hair practically to his knees. Apparently an expert in scientific immortality. Matey with those Americans who super-freeze you until they find a cure for whatever killed you ... It doesn't sound good, does it?

Christopher Sykes seems to think it does. His documentary Do you want to live forever? established that X de Y really was called that, was a Harrovian and seemed to be an Cambridge Prof. A lot of tolerably clever Brits and Americans were prepared to discuss his ideas. So I put my instinctive reaction aside. It didn't last. I was losing faith in Christopher's judgement when he revealed that Aubrey wasn't a Prof of anything, but a former IT buy/lab technician type.

Immortality, life extension and the rest, always a hot subject, is now looking dangerously close. 50's the new 30? Feeling miles less decrepit than your parents at the same age? So every reason for other famously forensic minds - Mrs C Blair, the Sadie Frost set, and their ilk - to believe the most absolute tosh.

Don't they know that widespread immortality, or even a couple of hundred years lifespan would provoke what the great poet/novelist Randall Jarrell called "quite unbearable irritability". Better a more modest allowance but really high quality.

They're working on that already. At every level. On the back pages of the mid-market tabloids you can see advertised the low-tech quality-of-life stuff they're turning out for the comfortable 70 through 90 crowd. There are those baths with doors in them advertised by smiling swimsuited ladies of 50. Things on wheels. And motorised everything.

The motorised bed, in particular. A bed that raises head or feet at the touch of a button. A bed that warms up, one that does massage. A bed that's practically the stuff of a 1930s comedy.

Everything in the new Adjustamatic bed commercial is rendered in a cream and maroon lower mid-price hotel style. Maroony headboard, cream paint, maroon carpet with a dirt-hiding fleck. And it's presented by Gloria Hunniford. We've all been watching for the successor to Dame Thora Hird in her role of as presenter of ads for the old.But what a coup to get Gloria, only in her 60s and still active in the God Slot, to read the autocue here. 'Do you ache when you wake?", she leads off. (This market likes a little rhyme.) "Or start the day feeling tired? The solution could be in the bedroom." No one's expecting any kind of sauciness from Gloria. It's easy to imagine her as the Irish proprietor and matron of a rather-well-run Twilight Home.

A fully-clothed young woman -25 tops - then demonstrates the shapes the Adjustamatic can throw while Gloria battles on with the long-copy approach that research says you need with anyone before the Baby-boomers.

She's into another patch of Fine Writing "an infinite range of positions, suited to a variety of medical conditions". It sounds utterly filthy to me, but not a glimmer from Gloria. It's the language of those classic Victorian print ads that begin "as used by the crowned heads of Europe".

You can get a free home demonstration of course, which provokes a completely David Walliams gerontophile picture of old parties being asked to lie back to get the feeling.

It's so difficult to get these hotel-room colours right. A woman who watched the commercial with me said she reckoned it was nearer rust - or call it dried blood.

Peter@sru.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'