Sunday, 6 May 2007

I was the R.Whites Lemonade Man

Above, me in the famous R.Whites Lemonade Commercial.

Me in the 2nd (unknown) R Whites Commercial: "The Pop Star"
Story below!

In the early 70’s I acted in the famous R.Whites Lemonade commercial
WHICH RAN FOR 17 YEARS! It was the longest running commercial
ever in UK TV History.

But to be honest, I really can’t fathom why it was so much loved.

Every year it comes in the top 2 or 3 of the 100 favourite UK TV Commercials of all time.

Maybe I’m not objective but I don’t think that it’s particularly good,
or well directed or for that matter well performed by me.
But maybe it’s because there is a stunning song written by Rod thingmejig (sorry Rod) the father of Elvis Costello.
It was sung by a session singer and is very catchy, the “R.Whites”
refrain sounding like “Alright!”

I actually made 2 R.Whites Commercials at the same time.
The second one was much, much better. (photo above) I played a manic rock singer with long blond hair singing (well miming) the song and gyrating madly all over the stage.
But it was never repeated. Why? Well, and now the dastardly truth can be told, it appears that an unknown Elvis Costello was playing guitar in the group behind me and when he became mega-famous it is rumoured that he didn’t want to be seen as a humble backing guitarist so he didn’t agree for it to be shown again, understandably for him I suppose,

but not for me,

what about my repeats???!!!

I do have one indelible memory from the R Whites Commercial.
About a year after it was shown, I was in a pub. A man at the bar beckoned me over with a huge grin. Aha, another fan I thought, he wants to meet a celebrity, I'll brighten up his day.
"Hello." I said patronisingly.
"Hello, do you know," he said chuckling happily "that my son hates you?"
Big pause.
"Well thanks for the information." was all I could think of.
Exit one abashed actor.
Why am I suddenly telling you this? Because last week a nice UK TV Company rang me out of the blue. They said they are making a programme about TV Icons of the 70’s called "That's What I call Television" and would I like to fly to London from Israel and be interviewed? So I said yes and I’m going next week and will update you on the whole trip.


Valerie said...

Hope you have fun in London. Look forward to hearing all about your trip. Try and make a detour to California!!!

Valerie said...

Congratulations. Hope you have a great time in London. Look forward to hearing all about it on your blog.

Anonymous said...

that wonderful series and short film the orchestra is amazing. is it possible to buy a copy anywhere? dave james

Chaggers said...

Hi anon I hopw to be distributing the Orchestra again very soon and will post it on my Blog. Thanx for the comment!

Anonymous said...

As to the R Whites advert, I believe that the slogan and advert were written by Rod Allen (of Allen Brady and Marsh) and that Ross McManus and son Elvis Costello arranged and performed the song.

Also, some sources (including the IMDB) say that Royce Mills was the actor in the advert - that really needs sorting out.

Derek said...

Saw the commercial a long time ago but haven't been able to find it since.
Would love to see the original commercial with Elvis if you're able to post it online

Jimbo said...

The R Whites ads are memorable chunks of my early teenage years. What I have always wondered who was the actress who played the wife?