Put Peter Kay on a television ad and he’s guaranteed to get numbers. The Bolton stand-up and Phoenix Nights legend doesn’t strictly sell a product in the traditional sense. You won’t find him dipping 1p coins into a bowl of Cillit Bang. Instead, he brings his trademark, on-the-nose humour to pubs, dog shows, football training sessions and romantic period dramas. Most adverts can bore off, but everything’s okay when Kay’s around. Below is a selection of his finest 30-second appearances.
The GOAT of Kay ads. Nothing beats the keepy-uppy challenge. Released in the height of ‘olé!’ football street fever, Kay stands idly by as teammates show off their moves. Once it’s his turn, he sends the most graceful 50-yard punt towards the nearest garden shed. They don’t call it the beautiful game for nothing.
Pride and Breadjudice
Kay’s return to our small screens arrives this Saturday (October 7), when a three-minute, ludicrously extravagant bread advert debuts on ITV. It sees the comedian pitching a foolproof television pilot called Pride and Breadjudice to Jonathan Warburton. Among other things, it involves ‘suggestive kneading’, a strapping six-pack, seedy affairs and the odd nod to some of Kay’s previous ad heroics. Watch the whole thing above.
In one of several John Smiths classics, Kay turns up to his mum’s house and promptly informs her that she’s heading to an old people’s home. Before she can get a word in, he’s set up a snooker table in the living room, and the job’s done.
The Doorstep Challenge
Including arguably the best line in a Kay-stamped ad – “I don’t care what it is or whose it is… It’s floating” – our no nonsense hero is caught on camera by host Danny Baker, who offers him a tempting washing powder deal. Sporting a Bolton Wanderers shirt, Kay shiftly snaps up two packets of “ordinary powder”, shuts the door, and gets on with his day.
Before Splash! gave us the generous gift of countless celebs performing graceless belly-flops on live TV, Kay got there first with his trademark ‘running bomb’. Have some of that, Tom Daley.
I’m Not Your Daddy
The wedding DJ from hell, Kay plays a Kid Creole & the Coconuts hit and promptly breaks up an entire family. “I thought everybody knew,” he says, nonplussed.
He loves a good deal, does John Smith. So imagine his dismay when he shows up to an Antiques Roadshow-style event, only to be informed his rare, signed, untouched painting is worth half a Bolton season ticket.
Claire From Work
After a brief stint away from frothy pints, Kay returned as John Smith in the late ‘00s. This time, he was spending his time in restaurants with loved ones, taking his no nonsense chat to awkward extremes.
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Wardrobe Monsters / Burglars
Another dinner chat clanger, this time Kay doesn’t give the most sage advice to his terrified daughter. But at least she won’t be scared of ghosts anymore, right?
Engelbert Humperdinck’s worst gig
The perfect meeting of minds: a swooning balladeer and a half-cut Kay, who gives Humperdinck the hump by interrupting one of his songs.