Tom Allen to host documentary series about TV adverts

Wednesday 29th April 2020, 12:59pm

  • Channel 4 has ordered a four-part documentary series called Tom Allen: Ad Man
  • The show will see the comedian celebrating 65 years of the nation's best-loved and most outrageous TV adverts
  • Tom Allen will film the show from home. He jokes: "I don't even know who I am unless I'm buying something!"
Tom Allen.

Channel 4 has ordered Tom Allen: Ad Man, a series in which Tom Allen will celebrate 65 years of the nation's best-loved and most outrageous TV adverts.

Four hour-long episodes will see the comedian "charting the changing values and attitudes of the UK along the way".

Producers explain: "During a romp through six decades of the TV ads that made us gasp, laugh, cry and buy, Tom reveals what some of Britain's most iconic ad campaigns really say about us. Over four episodes, he'll take a smart look at the infamous and the long-forgotten, unearthing ads that could be baulked at or banned today, as well as revisiting the nostalgic, the heart-warming and the uplifting.

"Tom will make viewers think as well as laugh, as he delves into the issues of gender, race, class and Britishness, and explores how our evolving attitudes to these issues have been reflected in the ads beamed into the nation's living rooms."

The series is being filmed during the coronavirus lockdown and thus Allen will record the presentation segments himself. The channel explains: "Filmed from the comfort of Tom's own home, Tom Allen: Ad Man will feature playful spoofs and lots of laughs, alongside thought-provoking observations. It will be filmed with a self-shooting kit while Tom is self-isolating in the home he shares with his parents."

Tom Allen says: "I'm delighted to be analysing the world of advertising which, in our consumer age, has really dictated how we see ourselves. I don't even know who I am unless I'm buying something! If I buy Ski Yoghurt - does that make me a health freak? If I choose Diet Coke - does that mean I should take my top off? Would drinking Cinzano make me Joan Collins??! Anyway, fingers crossed it's just as glamourous as the programme Mad Men, but here's hoping I don't start smoking, drinking Scotch during the day and having an affair with my secretary."

Commissioner Lee McMurray says: "The show will not only allow Channel 4 viewers to enjoy the nostalgia of revisiting some well-loved TV ads, but also reveal how they reflected the surprising and sometimes shocking attitudes of yesteryear, with Tom's trademark wit and humour bringing the perfect mix of entertainment and insight to proceedings."

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