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From hops to space hoppers: Director Jon Parker recruits 60 to use space hoppers in community video in Boughton-under-Blean near Faversham

Space hoppers filmed outside The White Horse Inn in Boughton-under-Blean, near Faversham
Space hoppers filmed outside The White Horse Inn in Boughton-under-Blean, near Faversham

Heard the one about the man who walks into the bar and comes out on a space hopper?

Well, actually, it was 60 people who came out on them after a pub conversation near Faversham turned into a feel-good online video.

Punters at the White Horse Inn, in Boughton-under-Blean, near Faversham, came together for two days to make the community film.

It sees scores of regulars bouncing in the rural drinking hole before heading onto the nearby hop gardens and recreation ground behind the boozer.

They are seen making a flying V formation, with the cast ranging in age from four to 76.

The video, which also features the Red Arrows, is the brainchild of director Jon Parker, who was inspired by a chat in the pub in May.

Susanna Wilkins, three, on her space hopper
Susanna Wilkins, three, on her space hopper

Jon, 49, of The Street, said: "Someone also pointed out it is the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters' bouncing bomb and within three or four days I had ideas flying through my head and I storyboarded something.

"It took shape with the help of others and we realised we had the idea to make a community film – to do something fun with a feel-good factor and British spirit.

"We wanted to achieve something which made everyone smile and enjoy themselves."

Landlord and landlady Paul and Tara Birks were delighted to host the video as a way of trying to get comedians Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller to visit their pub.

The pair have recently starred in an advertising campaign for Shepherd Neame brewery and said they would visit a Faversham boozer this year.

Paul, who celebrates three years running the pub with Tara this week, said: "It has actually become a village community thing.

"It has developed its own little life. We had 60 people bouncing around the recreation ground at the back.

"It's been really nice over the last two days. It's lovely. The video has a proper village community feel and it's hard to get that these days."

Tara added: "It's really surreal. It makes people smile. If you sit on a space hopper you have to grin because everyone knows how ridiculous it looks.

"It was just a crazy idea and one which Jon hasn't put down. He definitely ran with it."

Adhradh Rooney, 13 and 11-year-old Natasha Birks taking part in space hopper filming
Adhradh Rooney, 13 and 11-year-old Natasha Birks taking part in space hopper filming

A former KM Group news editor, Jon moved into TV in the early 1990s and worked for three years at TVS before spending 11 years at Meridian. He now works in public relations.

He said: "Ultimately we just want people to watch and have a laugh.

"The timing is absolutely perfect. In the last week we have had the birth of royal baby Prince George, we have had great success this summer in sport with the tennis and cricket and we have also had some good news on the economy."

The video stars Barry Philpott as Vic, a regular at the White Horse, who asks for a pint at the bar before buying a space hopper from a vending machine in the toilets.

Pulling him the pint is barmaid Sharon Cassidy as Tory, while the music was written by another regular, Malcolm Cleghorn, a teaching assistant.

Video: Bouncing for Britain video filmed in Boughton-under-Blean

Dance teacher Chris Francis, of The Street, choreographed the hopping routine and Jon has been keen to sing the praises of the community's efforts in making the film.

He said: "It just shows what you can do when you put some will behind it and people connect with an idea.

"That is what interested people. They thought, 'this is funny and different and I want to be a part of it.'

"The great thing from the director's perspective is I didn't have to put any of the hard effort in that everyone else did. I got away with it which is good because I am sure it was very hard work.

"I was demanding lots of different shots from young children and adults but they did tremendously well and no one complained at all, even though they got tired.

"It was great fun and I really enjoyed it."

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