When Kojak actor Telly Savalas was the voice of Aberdeen

Telly Savalas was hired to promote Aberdeen to the world when he was at the height of his Kojak fame. PIC: Wiki Commons.
Telly Savalas was hired to promote Aberdeen to the world when he was at the height of his Kojak fame. PIC: Wiki Commons.
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Telly Savalas was at the height of his Kojak fame when he was snapped up as the voice of a new commercial to promote the Granite City to the world.

His gravelly tones overlaid a short documentary on Aberdeen in 1980 - with the actor admitting to be “captivated by everything he saw.”

“With a past both romantic and turbulent, Aberdeen is one of the most fascinating places in Europe,” he adds.

Footage pulled together for Terry Savalas Looks At Aberdeen features a number of city highlights from salmon fishing in Dee, to the city’s once famous rose beds and, of course its beach and harbour.

A segment on the old fishing village of Footdee also features.

“A city by the sea is a bonus for me,” he says.

The city’s then fast emerging oil industry also features.

“Black gold is much in evidence at the docks of Europe’s offshore capital,” he adds, with a shot of the arch at Torry Battery giving way to a view of Aberdeen harbour.

Retired Aberdeen council planner John Souter worked on the project and said in an earlier interview: “I believed it would work and it worked very well.

“A quarter of a century has passed and it has stood the test of time.

“Telly Savalas did a splendid job indeed.”

Mr Souter told how the short film was commissioned to meet a quota of domestic films that distributors had to include in British cinemas.

But it also emerged that the late actor never visited Aberdeen for the campaign and recorded his voice over for the film in London.

Nevertheless, the Californian injected some sunny enthusiasm into the Granite City promotion.

“I’ll be back, that’s for sure.

“In the meantime, so long Aberdeen - and here’s looking atcha.”

The films were made by director Harold Baim who produced similar shorts for Birmingham and Portsmouth.