Bruce Dickinson, the wild man of... marketing

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The Independent Online

For the lead singer of one of the world's biggest metal bands, working a second job as an airline executive is perhaps not the most obvious way to spend time off.

But Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, begs to differ: the singer, whose band played to two million fans last year, will act as marketing director at Astraeus, the Gatwick-based charter airline.

The man who sang "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter", said his role would be about delivering "the Astraeus message and business proposition directly to what is a relatively tight and targeted audience of people and decision-makers in aviation.

"This isn't about appointing ad agencies or anything like that," he said.

The 52-year-old singer, nicknamed "Air Raid Siren" has worked as a pilot for the airline for several years, and ferried his bandmates around 38 countries in a customised Boeing 757 called "Ed Force One" during the band's world tour last year.

In 2008, he rescued British tourists stranded after the collapse of airline XL.

Dickinson, who has said "singing with Iron Maiden and flying a jet airliner [are] the two best jobs in the world", added: "I loathe all the celebrity crap. All the minders, the backstage glamour and the glitzy bollocks."

He said that, in the cockpit of a plane, however, "it's just you, the airplane and the sky. It's quite a nice little zen moment".

The appointment is thought to be aimed at giving Astraeus' chief commercial officer Shaun Monnery more time to concentrate on an increase in orders being experienced by the company, which charters flights to the likes of British Airways, Bmi and easyJet.

Mr Monnery said: "Bruce is a great communicator, he knows the aviation industry inside out."

The low-key announcement was made on the Astraues website alongside those of two other appointments. The statement read: "With the rapid growth in the business we have increased our commercial team, Bruce Dickinson as our marketing director."

It is not likely, however, to signal the end of Dickinson's touring with the band. "I could never contemplate giving up music," he told CNN last year. "People say, 'Why do you need a second job?' I say 'Why do you need to breathe?' "

Mario Fulgoni, president of the Icelandic-owned airline, said: "I have worked with Bruce for a number of years now, in various capacities, and he is a very accomplished business promoter as well as a pilot. I am delighted he has agreed to join my team.

"One of Bruce's first responsibilities is to expand the series of videos we produce that explain and promote the services we offer to our clients." Dickinson previously presented a television series on aviation and another show about spontaneous human combustion.

Iron Maiden has sold about 100 million albums in a period which has spanned 35 years. Dickinson joined as lead singer in 1982, taking over vocals on its The Number of the Beast album.

The Leyton band's most recognisable songs include "Run to the Hills", "The Number of the Beast" and "Be Quick or Be Dead", and they headlined the Reading and Leeds festivals in 2005.

Two years earlier, they won the Ivor Novello Award for international achievement.

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