Essex Road record shop stars in remake of classic J.R.Hartley ad

A RECORD shop has become famous after being shown in the latest Yell advertising campaign.

Haggle Vinyl, in Essex Road, Islington, appears at the start of the commercial in which a man tries to track down a copy of his own record.

The advert is a remake of the classic “fly-fishing by J.R. Hartley” Yellow Pages broadcast which ran in the 1980s.

Proprietor of Haggle Vinyl, Lynn Alexander, 73, said: “I can’t get it into my head that my shop is on national TV. It’s crazy, it just does not fit.

“When it comes on, I say to myself, ‘Oh my God, how did that happen?’ It’s unbelievable, really bonkers.”


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Although the shop is well known in the area, Mr Alexander is unsure of why his shop was chosen.

“I could be wrong, but a lot of TV people live around here, so maybe that’s the reason.

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“I know that stuff I have played in here has turned up on adverts because people have heard it in the shop. I am quite a mouthy individual and I like talking to people, which might be something to do with it.”

Since the commercial has been aired, Mr Alexander has noticed some new faces in the shop.

“There have been tourists coming into the shop,” he said. “They tend to be between 55 and 65 years old, British tourists.

“We haven’t seen an increase in sales, but there have been more people in the shop. People have been coming up to the counter and doing the line from the advert. It’s really funny and I have enjoyed it.”

Mr Alexander has been running Haggle Vinyl for 12 years after buying the business from a friend.

Despite having an opera singer for a grandmother and a jazz session musician for a father, he admits to knowing little about music when he first took the reigns.

“I didn’t know anything about records when I opened the shop. I had probably heard the word reggae, but I certainly didn’t know anything about trip hop. Now my main concern is music and I am still learning.”

His passion manifests itself in some strongly held opinions about music, particularly jazz. This led to a frank exchange of views with Radio One DJ Gilles Peterson.

“He made a mistake in my shop about six years ago and I questioned him about it,” said Mr Alexander.

After a varied career, including working as a tailor and on a kibbutz, Mr Alexander says the time has flown since running Haggle Vinyl.

“It doesn’t seem like 12 years,” he said. “I have no concept of time in this place because I have enjoyed it so much.”

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