Hovis boy recreates iconic TV ad


Carl Barlow recreates the original Hovis image.

The child star of the famous Hovis television advertisement has recreated it 40 years on, pushing his delivery bike up a cobbled street that has barely changed since.

But Carl Barlow, now 54, says he found the climb harder than last time round. And, he tells the Bournemouth Echo: "Back then I thought going back down the hill on the bike was great fun, but having had my picture taken again there is no way I would consider doing it now. It's far too steep."

Barlow - who went to stage school but later became a blacksmith and then a firefighter - is now retired and lives in Stratford, East London, but was in Shaftesbury to switch on the town's Christmas lights.

"I was 13 at the time and attending stage school when I was asked to audition for the part," he says. "At the time I thought it was just an acting job and I had no idea it would grow to become the top advert in Britain, but it has got that nostalgic look that people like."

The advertisement was intended to depict a bread delivery in a northern town, but was actually filmed in Shaftesbury, in Dorset. The ad was directed by Ridley Scott, who later moved on to a rather different style of work with movies including Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator. Barlow says Scott was a hard taskmaster, demanding dozens of retakes over two days of filming.

Hovis says it has no plans to screen a remake of the ad. But it wouldn't be the first company to do so: last year, for example, R Whites recreated its famous 1970s ad, 'the secret lemonade drinker', after - with some difficulty - tracking down its original stars.

In 2005, Coca Cola recreated its iconic 'hilltop' ad, featuring the song 'I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing', to promote Coke Zero; and Fairy Liquid recently brought back Nanette Newman, who fronted its television advertising in the 1980s, for a new campaign.

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