A businessman from Preston has told how he left Lancashire and became one of the most recognisable faces on American television.
Mick Hastie grew up in Marsh Lane and Ashton, attending St Walburge’s Junior School in Weston Street.
He started his sales career selling coats and leather jackets, before moving into kitchenware demonstrations at events like the Ideal Home Show.
But after meeting his American wife-to-be Kelly in London, the former St Edmund Campion High School pupil jetted off to the United States in the early 1990s.
It was there he went on to become synonymous with a compact blender called the Magic Bullet - and the star of a series of early morning ‘informercials’, which captured the attention of the nation.
Mick, 51, said: “As soon as I saw the Magic Bullet, I thought ‘I can develop this into something special’.
“In 2003 we did the show and it made history. Everybody in America was talking about it.
“We’ve sold 25 million Magic Bullets and 10 million NutriBullets. We’re relaunching the Magic Bullet in the UK soon.” The extended advert showed Mick and a fictional wife, Mimi, hosting a group of friends and showing them the various functions of the blender - such as making smoothies and omelettes, or even grinding coffee.
The characters in the advert and their relationships became the source of much speculation, with the original infomercial also watched by millions of people online.
Mick said: “The creative behind it was we wanted it to be the morning after the night before.
“It had characters like Hazel the nosey neighbour and they just clicked with people.”
Many viewers questioned where Mick was originally from - guessing he was a Londoner, Australian, or worse of all for the proud Lancastrian, a Yorkshireman!
He said: “For some reason if you’re from the north of England in America they normally assume you’re from Australia.
“They equate a British accent with a London accent.”
Mick, who lives in Los Angeles and is now the creative director of Capital Brands - a $600m business - said he also had to convince many people Mimi wasn’t his real wife.
But he has enjoyed the life his fame and success has brought, even if he does miss Preston, despite regular trips home to see his family.
He said: “I do miss the English sense of humour - I’m talking about going to the corner shop and an old lady who just delivers a throwaway line.
“It’s been fun - sometimes you just have to pinch yourself as to what has happened over the last 10 years. I’ve been very lucky.”