This film is part of Free

Swimming - David Wilkie

The Olympic champion heads a fondly-remembered public information film

Public Information Filler 1979 2 mins Silent


It’s never too late to learn: that’s the encouraging message of this fondly remembered public information film. Promoting swimming, it’s fronted by Olympic winner David Wilkie and pulls a twist on the celeb-fronted public information campaign, with Wilkie acting not only as authoritative presenter but also as interviewer.

It’s a good illustration of how information film often borrows its style from other film and TV (in this case, documentary and current affairs television). From a messaging point of view, it’s a case of belt and braces: viewers hearing the message twice, first from an expert then from the mouths of kids like themselves, are twice as likely to sit up, pay attention and act accordingly. For BFI Player we’ve remastered the film, long available in poor quality, from original film elements preserved by the BFI National Archive. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.