What the biggest stars in TV advertising have done next, from the Milky Bar Kid to Halifax Howard


TV commercials might be a perfect time for some to stick the kettle on, but over the years there have been some classic music videos.

Some commercials have catapulted the stars in them into national fame, with stars such as Lynda Bellingham and Anthony Head starting in commercials.

From cheerful songs to racy displays, there have been epic TV commercials over the years on UK television, with viewers left in hysteria by the 30-second clips.

Daily Star has examined what happened to some of the biggest stars to grace television screens on beloved commercials, from becoming a priest to tragic deaths.

Shake ‘n’ Vac – Jenny Logan



Jenny said even her legs were emailed

Best known for singing “Make the Shake n ‘Vac and Put the Cool Back” in the carpet sanitizer commercial which ran from 1980 to 1986, she went on to appear in The Two Ronnies as a sexy, leather-clad villain in The Worm That Turned sketch.

Now 79, she says of the nine-year ad: “Even my legs got fan mail.”

Milky Bar Kid – Terry Brooks



Terry brooks
Terry Brooks continued to work in Pontins and now lives in Spain

The milk bars are on him! A series of child actors played the children’s cowboy, but the first was Terry in 1961 who was paid £ 10 for his first commercial – alongside plenty of free chocolate bars.

He later became a Pontinian Bluecoat and a father of four and moved to Spain to work as a gardener at a country club.

JR Hartley – Norman Lumsden Yellow Pages



Norman Lumsden
Norman died at the age of 95 in 2001

The 77-year-old actor who played fictional author JR Hartley in the 1983 commercial, In Search of his lost book Fly Fishing, was originally an opera singer who performed frequently in Covent Garden.

He earned £ 100,000 in rehearsal fees, continued to star in One Foot in the Grave on television and went fishing at age 85. He died at age 95 in 2001.

Hamlet – Gregor Fisher

The Scottish comedian behind Rab C. Nesbitt starred as The Baldy Man in the hilarious 1980s cigar commercial, failing to get a good shot in a photo booth.

The 67-year-old father-of-three has since starred in films including Love Actually, playing musical director Billy Mack, then moved to France with his wife Vicky.

He published an autobiography detailing his colorful life named The Boy From Nowhere in 2015.

Piece of Diet Coke – Lucky Vanous



Lucky Vanous
Lucky named one of PEOPLE’s 50 Most Beautiful People

Women swooned in 1994 when the actor and passionate American ex-soldier took off his shirt at a construction site for the “Diet Coke break” commercial.

He was named one of PEOPLE’s 50 Most Beautiful People in 1994 and then released his own workout video.

He went on to star in a sequel and television shows such as Will and Grace. Now 60, he divorced model Kristen Noel in 1996.

Hovis – Carl Barlow

Once voted the best TV commercial of all time and directed by Ridley Scott of Alien, the 1973 bread commercial saw 13-year-old Carl struggling to ride his bike up the steep hill of Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, in Dorset.

He later turned his back on his showbiz career and became a firefighter, but admitted that he still finds it “surreal” when watching the original ad.

Lemonade by R White – Julian Chagrin



Julian Grief
Julian moved to Israel after R Whites announcement

Famous crawling down in his pajamas at night as the “ secret lemonade drinker ” in the 1973 ad, the comic book actor has found roles on shows such as The Goodies.

Julian, 81, later moved to Israel but returned in 2012 to reprise his role in advertising popsicles.

He married Israeli actress and comedian Rolanda and often worked with his wife on mime shows.

Snowflake – Hoima MacDonald



Hoima macdonald
Hoima admitted she didn’t realize how rude the ad was

Crowds of women, including singer Joss Stone, advertised Britain’s “crumbliest, flakiest” chocolate, but Hoima was the first in 1968 at age 22 when she waded into a lake.

She became a successful model, starred in the 1974 horror film Vampira, and briefly dated singer David Cassidy.

She said of the racy ad: “It was my first ad and I was thrilled when I got it.

“The production crew took me to Portugal to film this black and white scene, which involved me wading through a lake before taking a bite of the chocolate bar.

“I was young and very, very naive. We did all of these takes and I had no idea it was meant to be a phallic symbol.

Oxo – Lynda Bellingham



Lynda Bellingham
Lynda lived a colorful life after appearing in the Oxo commercial

As “ Mama Oxo, ” she starred in the Cozy Sauce commercials from 1983 to 1999 and reprized roles on shows such as All Creatures Great and Small as well as Loose Women and Strictly Come Dancing.

Married three times, the real mother of two died of cancer at the age of 66 in 2014 with her third husband Michael by her side.

She revealed in her autobiography that her second marriage to Nunzio Peluso was abusive, which happened at the same time as the Oxo commercials.

Lynda said in Lost & Found: My Story: “Maybe if my private life had been happier I would have liked to have done it more. In fact, I felt like I was living a lie. To be the favorite mom of the nation on screen and coming home for an abusive relationship was heartbreaking […] the irony was horrible.

“I was there, Mama Oxo, hidden behind closed doors, isolated from friends and family.”

Philadelphia – Sara Crowe



Sara crowe
Sara moaned that people always said ‘this is the cheese woman’ when they saw her

Finding fame in the 1990s soft cheese commercial as a scatty secretary, the Scotsman would go on to play more roles in television and theater and star in Four Weddings and Funeral.

But the 55-year-old, twice married, says: “People still say sometimes, ‘Look, there’s the cheese woman.’

She also became a best-selling author, releasing her first book in 2014.

Boddingtons – Debby Carr



Debby carr
Debby admitted she was having a hard time settling down with someone

The ‘Manchester Cream’ launched Melanie Sykes ‘career, but Debby was Boddingtons’ original daughter in 1992 using frothy beer as a face cream.

The divorced model, who once dated famous lawyer Nick “Mr. Loophole” Freeman, later admitted she struggled to find true love.

Engaged five times, Debby said she was very picky with her men, saying, “I need someone who is a quick wit, someone like me.

“But not all the guys I meet seem to be able to commit.”

Gold Blend – Anthony Head and Sharon Maughan



Anthony stewart
Anthony and Sharon went on to make impressive careers in showbiz

The love affair between Tony and Sharon captivated the nation in romantic Nescafé coffee commercials which ran from 1987 to 1993. Two-year-old dad Anthony, 67, later appeared on shows including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and has been dating her partner Sarah since 1982.

Holby City star Sharon, 70, married actor Trevor Eve in 1980. Their daughter Alice is now a prominent actress as well.

Guinness – Joe McKinney



Joe mckinney
Joe is now a Reiki master after turning his back on showbiz

The Irish actor memorably danced at a bar while waiting for his stout to settle in in the 1994 Anticipation commercial. Acting roles since have included a role in the 2004 film King Arthur.

Now 53, he decided to become teetotal, saying that while the ad was a ‘blessing’ the way he treated fame was a ‘curse’.

He also became a Reiki Master and priest in the Melchizedek Order, the Melchizedek Priesthood and a Minister of the Church of Universal Life.

Howard of Halifax – Howard Brown



Howard Brown on the first dates
Howard was seen on the first dates in 2020

In 2000, Howard Brown, an employee of Brummie Bank, became a household name after a series of TV commercials that saw him sing and dance.

He even starred in The Office and released a successful charity record. The 54-year-old left Halifax in 2011 after being banned from commercials, but the only star later appeared on the screens of Channel 4’s first dates in 2020.

Budweiser Whassup? – Scott Martin Brooks



Scott Martin Brooks of Whassup
Scott continued his publicity work after his Budweiser fame

Giving us the popular slogan, the classic Budweiser commercial from 1999 propelled the American actor, who played Dookie for the commercials series, to international fame.

The former nightclub bouncer, now 45, continued his career in television and other advertising campaigns.

Brooks also continued his publicity work while featured in Dr. Scholl’s Are You Gellin ‘? publicity.


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