JACK CANS BEER ADS; and John Smith's Aren't Half Bitter

By Wright, Matthew | The Mirror (London, England), April 24, 1997 | Go to article overview

JACK CANS BEER ADS; and John Smith's Aren't Half Bitter


Wright, Matthew, The Mirror (London, England)


Telly funnyman Jack Dee has stunned brewery bosses by refusing to do any more John Smith's ads.

The star, who helped Courage double sales of its canned bitter, last night said he'd had enough.

After almost five years and countless awards, deadpan Jack is ditching the wacky widgets campaign and may plug soft drinks instead.

I'm told the star's decision to walk out on John Smith's follows lengthy negotiations.

Sources claim Courage offered Jack a substantial pay increase on the pounds 250,000 he pocketed for the current series.

But the star told them money was not the issue - he was simply bored with the adverts.

"It's a huge blow to Courage," a pal says. "But the ads are something Jack no longer wants to do. It's been a lot of fun and a hugely successful campaign, but he feels it's time to move on.

"A major car company and a soft drinks firm are already in talks with Jack's management to see if he can work his magic with them."

Jack's beer ads, featuring dancing penguins and widget songs, helped turn the 34-year-old star into a household name.

The last series, part of a pounds 10 million campaign, featured pounds 300,000 worth of dazzling special effects. Jack showed off his comic genius by writing the scripts with ad agency GGT.

Asked about his pounds 250,000 cheque for the last ads, Jack said last year: "It's a lot of money but a drop in the ocean when you look at the extra profits my ads have made for John Smith's."

Beer bosses were so happy with the star they sponsored his six-part ITV series last year.

Jack was unable to comment last night as he was preparing his act for its debut in London's West End.

David's a rude boy but I love his shows, says mum

David Baddiel's heckler from hell - his own mum - has kindly agreed to review his show for my column.

I reported yesterday how Sarah Baddiel, 58, upstaged the star at his Richmond gig on Sunday by moaning loudly from the audience about the poor-quality free seats David had provided for her.

Now Mrs B has sent me this touching verdict on her son's stand-up act:

I arrived early at Richmond Theatre to see my son David's performance.

I had some friends with me, including Bella, a lady of 75, who is an ardent fan.

She has never missed an episode of Fantasy Football and delighted in his book Time For Bed. David's show is cheeky and rude but I'm extremely difficult to shock. From an early age David used to try out his rudest jokes around the family breakfast table.

I think he gets it from his father. During the show some of the audience looked a bit offended at times - when David speaks his mind.

Maybe a few people are shocked at his honesty, but to me it is what most people would love to say but are afraid of the reaction of their parents.

David would never do anything unless he gave it 100 per cent.

He tried to hit a few golf balls (my passion) but he realised very quickly he would never be a Tiger Woods - much to my disappointment. …

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