Bellingham's Oxo ads: a history of eighties and nineties Britain

Lynda Bellingham has died, her agent has confirmed. The actress had been suffering from colon cancer after being diagnosed in July 2013.

Lynda Bellingham: the actress appeared in 42 TV ads for Oxo
Lynda Bellingham: the actress appeared in 42 TV ads for Oxo

Bellingham took the decision to end treatment for her illness to limit her family’s distress after it spread to her liver and lungs.

The actress appeared in 42 TV adverts for Oxo gravy from 1983, as mum of the Oxo family, embodying the lives of middle-class British women during the eighties and nineties. All the ads were made by JWT. Bellingham served up her last supper for the brand in 1999.

In the wake of the sad news, we take a look at some of the best.

Eighties: "Meatballs to you dear"

Mum is joined in the kitchen by her daughter who patronisingly explains the nutritional value of cooking methods. When serving the meal, mum translates this into simpler terms for Dad.

Eighties: Close the door

Mum is exasperated by her family who each leave the back door open during snowy weather and then compain about how cold it is indoors. She manages to warm them up with a casserole, nodding knowingly.

1990: "Mum’s chops usually come with gravy"

Modern life catches up with the Oxo family. This ad sees Dad doing the cooking while mum watches a weepie. Daughter informs him that gravy is standard fare when mum is doing the cooking.

1999: Empty nest

Now more poignant than ever, Bellingham’s final outing shows the family enjoying their last meal in the house prior to mum and dad clearing the property ready to downsize after the children have flown the next.


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