Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Please don't send for the Doctor

I do try to lighten up and get hip to modern capitalism, but I still struggle with lots of it. I'm never going to be comfortable with the effect which we old school guys like to call the 'selling of one's soul' (ie doing an advert) has on otherwise likeable individuals.

It breaks my heart to see David Tennant (below) - a brilliant actor, my favourite Doctor Who and one of the nicest, most generous-spirited famous people you could meet - hamming it up on those awful Virgin ads.

This is the man whose passion about the horror of malaria in Uganda sent the Comic Relief donation line into meltdown. To see him look into our eyes and implore us to sign up with Virgin TV actually hurts.

It's not just the morality of taking the greasy dollar from The Man that bothers me, it's the effect such a stance has on our feelings about the person doing it. Brad Pitt has become the new face of Chanel No 5 and I fear nothing good can come of it.

Men doing ads for 'scent' usually find themselves smouldering moodily from billboards, 'acting' not to tell a story but, we all know, to make buckets of cash. It kills our sense of disbelief for all the movies to come.

It took me a long time to forget Ewan McGregor's 'grizzly man of action' Davidoff ads - how long before Brad Pitt can really make me laugh or cry again?

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