I can’t remember how we got onto the topic on CJBK’s First Thing, although I am the queen of diverting the topic into semi-related subjects. I mentioned Rula Lenska, and the guys’ eyes all went blank. Rula Lenska separates the 50-somethings from those who are younger, because I got tweets and emails from listener/peers who knew exactly who I was talking about.
In 1979, our televisions were overtaken by a commercial for VO5 hairspray that began, “I’m Rula Lenska”. It prompted millions of viewers across North America to ask, who the hell is Rula Lenska? There was no Google to consult, no Internet to search and no way to watch her British TV shows unless they were carried on an American network. Precious few of those programs made it to our airwaves. So, instead of making us want to rush out and purchase VO5, we became irritated by this woman we didn’t know who seemed to think she was all that. The ad aired so frequently that her name burned into our brains.
Rula Lenska’s acting career apparently continued in the UK all these years. She’s 68 now and was just given an 18-month driving ban and a fine after she flipped her car with her 3-year-old grandson in the back and was found to be impaired. (The child is okay) Perhaps she could do a new set of ads in support of sober driving. “I’m Rula Lenska, and I’ve made bad decisions.”