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TV presenter Angus Purden told yesterday why he is backing a shocking advertising campaign against the arms trade.

The Scot plays a shopping channel presenter selling a Kalashnikov machine-gun in the hard-hitting spoof.

Angus, 31, is seen selling the rifle to viewers for less than pounds 500 - with a year's supply of ammo for quick orders.

The adverts - filmed for human rights campaigners Amnesty International - will be shown in cinemas across Britain.

The advert aims to highlight the lax controls on the arms trade.

It has already been circulating on email before the official launch next week.

Angus, who fronts the BBC's Cash In The Attic, is seen with a female assistant on a fictional TV channel called Teleshop.

In their sales pitch, they explain the assault rifle is a veteran of more than 75 wars and that "shoppers" who call within the hour will get a year's free ammunition.

Angus tells his sidekick: "You don't need to worry about getting into trouble.

"Surprisingly, there are convenient loopholes governing the arms trade around the world."

He then hands the gun over to a schoolboy who proceeds to blast a tailor's dummy to pieces.

"Look, that's the head, lungs, hearts, obliterated... fantastic," says Angus, before switching back to a feature on his 'n' her dressing gowns. More than 550 million small arms are in circulation across the world.

The light-weight Kalashnikov - the AK-47 - is used in wars across Africa and thousands are in the hands of children. Angus said: "Before we got our hands on the rifles, we had to practise by using umbrellas.

"The end result is kind of camp and chilling at the same time.

"I got a shiver up my spine when we learned about the child soldiers in countries like Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"We saw pictures of kids wearing army uniforms, holding machine-guns and with grenades strapped to their bodies.

"It's difficult to digest."

The advert was filmed at Elstree Studios near London, with a top production team of 50 who all worked on it for nothing.

It was produced by London-based agency Mother and has already won praise throughout the business.

Industry website Brand Republic called it "a darkly comedic pastiche of daytime TV shopping channels".

Kate Allen, Amnesty International's UK director, said: "Some people might find our advert disturbing.

"But what's truly shocking is that one person dies every minute from armed violence."

The AK-47 assault rifle's cheapness, reliability and capabilities have made it popular in war-zones across the world.

The weapon was invented by Russian Mikhail Kalashnikov at the end of the Second World War.

It is believed to be responsible for more deaths than the atomic bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing 230,000.


'got a shiver up my spine at kids with machine guns'

- TV presenter Angus Purden


Target audience: Angus shows off the rifle in Amnesty's spoof ad' Killer performance: A boy uses gun to blast a shop dummy' Bargain to die for: Viewers urged to buy one and get free ammo' Horrific: Deadly AK-47 rifle has killed more people than the A-bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 29, 2006
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