Lara Croft offers Gordonstoun a lift

Andrew Hibbard
Monday 02 July 2001 00:00 BST
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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

When the creators of the computer adventurer Lara Croft invented a CV for their all-action heroine, they made one important error.

The flaw in their plot has resulted in them giving away more than £1m of free advertising ... to her purported school. The game designers Eidos decided Lara should be a former pupil of Gordonstoun, the Scottish school favoured by the Royal Family. They forgot, however, to check whether Gordonstoun, famed for its rugged ethos, would mind being associated with the gun-toting cyber-babe.

As a result, when the film Tomb Raider premières this week, it will be preceded by a three-minute advertisement for the school, which Eidos has simply chalked up to experience.

The advertisement will feature Lara alongside two real-life Gordonstoun old girls, both of whom have led adventurous lives since leaving.

Pollyanna Murray, 27, pursued a climbing career and became the first Scottish woman to conquer Everest. Rebecca Ridgway, 33, canoed single-handedly round Cape Horn, the storm-racked southernmost tip of South America.

In the specially shot footage, the pair feature as classmates of Lara. In the closing shot, the three are seen under a narration saying: "Three amazing girls, one incredible school."

Gordonstoun's director of development, Angela Harkness, described it as "the ad bargain of the century".

She said: "It is quite a coup for us. We never made a fuss when Eidos used the school for Lara – we know they made the right choice – but it would be daft for us not to capitalise on it.

"We approached them to see if there was any way we could use the image on a limited basis, and they were very generous."

Susie Hamilton, at Eidos, insisted the Gordonstoun deal was "a one-off".

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