Sour note as final Mini
rolls off line
~ Birmingham Post, 06/10/2000 ~
West End star Michael Ball and his father accused Rover
of 'moving the goalposts' in a row over the launch of the last Mini to
be produced at Longbridge.
Ball and his father Tony, who launched the first-ever Mini, claimed MG
Rover management had promised they could drive the final model to roll
off the Birmingham production line.
But, the duo said, they were asked at the 11th hour if they could publicise
the new Rover 75 while the honour of taking the Mini driving seat at Wednesday's
ceremony went to pop singer Lulu.
'We have no connections with the 75. This totally undermined the whole
purpose of our being there,' said Tony Ball.
'It is just so very sad that moving the goalposts at the very last minute
ruined what would have been a happy, historic day.'
Michael Ball, star of Aspects of Love and Phantom of the Opera, added:
'I had no problem with Lulu driving the Mini, in fact she is a very good
friend of mine.'
A Rover spokesman said: 'It was a misunderstanding and a degree of not