Top of the Month: UKTV unveils the 'real' Mr Darcy

Taylor Herring and UKTV kicked off 'Jane Austen season' on TV channel Drama by getting almost all the major national newspapers to feature its "historically accurate" portrait of character Mr Darcy.

The story centred on an academic study that aimed to discover exactly what the Pride and Prejudice leading man would have actually looked like.

"The core insight was based upon Austen’s lack of descriptive prose around [Mr Darcy’s appearance]. There is a mere line in the book, which gives very little away," said Taylor Herring managing partner Peter Mountstevens.

"This gave us the base for our creative – what would Mr Darcy have looked like in Jane Austen’s imagination? Could we work with a team of academics and historians to uncover the ‘real Mr Darcy’?

"We knew this creative would provide the perfect excuse to run pictures of the ‘real Mr Darcy’ alongside Colin Firth’s ‘Mr Darcy’," he added.

The likeness, by illustrator Nick Hardcastle, counters recent portrayals, painting a picture of a pale man with powdered hair, sloping shoulders and a pointy chin.

The story was picked up by The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Times, i, The Guardian and Daily Mirror, among others.

It is a great example of the continued power of a well-targeted, creative PR stunt to encourage conversation and capture the public imagination.

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