Thursday, 19 July 2001

Pull the other one!

CITY businessman almost told his most famous customer so far to "pull the other one" when they asked for 50 gold crackers for the forthcoming Harry Potter film.

But when movie giants Warner Brothers called on Keith Langford's Absolutely Crackers to provide the props for the Christmas party scene he snapped at the chance as the reality started to sink in. And Keith, who started his Internet firm four years ago after recognising a gap in the market for year-round cracker suppliers, said he never felt tempted to up the selling price for the order despite the studio's wealth. "It was quite a surprise but not such a big deal - so I never thought to charge more than the usual price," said Keith, of Milton Keynes. "If the order was larger then I might have done."

Warner Brothers, who are producing the film adaptation of JK Rowling's bestseller Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at Pinewood Studios, searched the world for a cracker supplier who could come up with the goods. They finally stumbled across Absolutely Crackers earlier this year after tapping in crackers on an Internet website search engine. "Crackers are virtually unheard of in America," added Keith. "But we can offer them at anytime for corporate events, weddings or other requirements - we even do empty ones for customers to put their own surprises inside."

Keith says he is now hoping to land a contract, keeping his business in the movie frame, supplying crackers to the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain in London and throughout Europe. Harry Potter is screened in the UK from November 16.

Published in The Milton Keynes Citizen (UK) 19th July 2001
Cracker Prop Collectors card from the film