MK Retro 1981: 40 year anniversary of Cliff Richard filming famous 'Wired for Sound' video in Milton Keynes

Cliff Richard plunged the centre:mk under the spotlight in 1981

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 12:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th May 2021, 12:30 pm

It was May 1981 when the centre:mk welcomed one of its most famous visitors.

Cliff Richard his film crew and a troop of dancers asked for permission to use the new centre as the location for a video to promote the star's new album, Wired for Sound.

The smooth marble floors were perfect for roller skates, which were the theme of the video.

In those days, before the craze for lower case letters and hyphens, centre:mk was just called Central Milton Keynes shopping centre.

It had been officially opened just two years previously by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and, billed as "one of the most spectacular shopping centres in Europe", it was gaining an excellent reputation with coachloads of shoppers coming from all over the country.

The Wired for Sound video shows Cliff roller skating nonchalantly and very competently around the John Lewis end of the centre, plugged into a Walkman (a top trend of the 80s) while singing along to the soundtrack.

He was surrounded by a troop of dancers, also on roller skates, against a background of the centre's tropical plants and tiled walls.

This part of the video was shot just outside the centre
This part of the video was shot just outside the centre

The first part of the video, which shows Cliff meeting the girl of his dreams in the song, is shot outside in an underpass. This is believed to be one of the underpasses surrounding the city centre.

Wired for Sound was released in the September of 1981 and went on to be a platinum selling album. It spent a total of 25 weeks in the charts over the next year and achieved a million sales globally.

The title track was the lead single of the album, followed up Daddy's Home. These singles peaked at numbers 4 and 2 respectively on the UK singles chart but were beaten to number 1 by the Human League's Don't You Want Me.

Other tracks on the album include Broken Doll, Once in a While, Lost in a Lonely World and Summer Rain.

Cliff roller skated around the centre:mk

The promotional video for the title track became one of Cliff's best-known. It also inspired local youngsters to take to roller skating in the city centre at nights - much to the annoyance of security guards!