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The man behind the penguin

Ever wondered who John Lewis hires to make his adverts? The Print wondered and then The Print asked

I am the man who makes all the John Lewis Christmas adverts. I feel like some people have preconceptions about how these adverts are made. I’ve heard a lot of people claim that the penguin is ‘special effects.’ Wrong. It is a real penguin. He is a professional actor penguin and good friend of mine. Also the bear and the hare from last year were real.

Since everyone harps on about my seasonal work, I suppose it is only right that I indulge the philistines that only seem to enjoy that very select account of my filmography. So, to begin, you’re scum. These pieces are my tritest, most banal works. I hate them. I don’t even like penguins.

You know what I did as a joke? I pitched an idea where a little boy found a Santa in the woods, and the Santa was all poorly and cold so the boy brought him back and his parents said he could keep the Santa. Then as the Santa gets old and we see their friendship develop. The Santa watches smiling as the boy has his first kiss, the Santa gets sad when the boy goes away to university. Then the boy gets a call from his parents and he looks sad. Then the next scene is the Santa on a bed and the boy crying and then the Santa gently dies. Then fade to white, “John Lewis.” They loved it. I almost vomited.

I thought up the Monty the Penguin one when I was watching that nature documentary narrated by Werner Herzog. Werner was wondering aloud whether penguins ever kill themselves and I thought, wow what an idea, I could do an advert where a penguin kills himself. I quickly got bored of that idea and started reading Calvin and Hobbes. Then it hit me! I should do an advert about a delusional boy who thinks that his toy penguin is a real penguin. The boy is clearly tackling with some serious issues. And then to top it off at the end we see him making the penguin toys kiss each other. That’s weird right? They cut out the full original, where he proceeded to act like the penguins were going at it like mad, and his parents look at him worriedly.

That’s why I wrecked the John Lewis offices, and threatened to do a Sainsbury’s advert where Jamie Oliver learns the meaning of Christmas or something. Like, he learns it’s not all about turkey or something. He actually thinks that you know, I’ve met him and he legitimately said to me:

“Oi you’d know this, what is Christmas actually all about? It’s about turkey ain’t it?”

I began to explain it to him that it was about love and Jesus but he ruined my stride by taking a big bite into a hunk of lamb he somehow had in his hand. We were at a swimming pool. Where did he get the lamb?

You know Jamie Oliver was originally going to be in the Christmas Sainsbury’s advert? He was, he told me about it. Apparently he was meant to be one of the soldiers in the trench, but they cut him out after he kept appearing in shot clutching a big roast ham. They kept taking it off him but he kept getting it back. They told him that soldiers in the trenches wouldn’t be eating a big ham, but he didn’t understand. I think the whole concept of war kind of confused him, he didn’t get how they wouldn’t have access to big hams.

But this isn’t about Jamie, this is about me. Don’t forget it bruddah, I’m the Big Kahuna of adverts, I’m the Karate Kid, I’m the Monarch of the Glen. Kapeesh, Romeo? I’m Killer Bob, I’m Kula Shakah, I’m the king of the swingers. Get ready for 2015 gang. It’s gonna get hog wild.

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