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Remembering Stephen Hawking's presence in pop culture

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Remembering Stephen Hawking's presence in pop culture

The world of science lost one of its most precious gems yesterday. Stephen Hawking, the British theoretical physicist who beat the odds his entire life, passed away at the age of 76. Besides his immense contribution to science, he made his presence felt even in pop culture, appearing in an impressive array of content right from ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Star Trek’ to being a subject of the Oscar-winning movie ‘The Theory of Everything.’

He was also part of numerous commercials (directed by top directors) where his synthesised voice broke through the clutter.

Here’s a rundown of his ads:

Jaguar F-Pace
Luxury automobile major Jaguar fulfilled the enigmatic scientist’s life-long wish to play the part of a James Bond villain for the ad spot of F-Pace in 2016. Directed by Tom Hooper of ‘The King’s Speech’ fame, Hawking joined a growing list of British stars including Tom Hiddleston, Mark Strong and Sir Ben Kingsley to feature as a villain. He even posted on Facebook sharing his other side as an actor and how he longed to play the role of a British villain.

There have been many collaborations between Hawking and the computing brand. In this creative, he is seen speaking about his 20-year relationship with the brand and how it empowered him to live independently and do things he loved. The work ran with the title 'Keep Hawking Talking.' Since 1997, Intel supplied him with the technology that helped him communicate. In 2014, the company came up with his voice modulator.


British financial services brought out an ad in 2013 featuring the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking opening a black hole in space-time to silence the brand’s annoying fictitious tenor, Gio Compario. At that time, the scientist confessed to being a fan of the GoCompare advertisements and that he was delighted to be given this ‘opportunity.’

The 60-second film for British optical retail chain Specsavers depicted the scientist being flown around the solar system gazing at the earth and the moon in a space aircraft. It was the most recalled TV advertisement for weeks in the UK when it originally ran and is still remembered and revered by legions of Hawking fans.


In 1994, Hawking featured in British multinational telecommunication company commercial talking about the necessity of talking and how mankind’s greatest achievements have come from talking. He leveraged BT's technology as a means of delivering a prosperous future. Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, the ad spot won a BTAA Gold Award that year. His voice work is also cited as the reason Hawking was included in Pink Floyd's album that year.

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