DIARY: Fletcher flinches from casting couch reunion with real life Mr Mean

It's the stuff nightmares are made of - casting for ads. There are countless tales of horses cavorting, dogs peeing, models stropping and children dribbling during these sessions, but the creative team behind the new Tic Tac ad at Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB had a far more threatening time finding the right kind of bouncer to star in the spot.

You've seen the ad - it opens on a suave black geezer, strutting down the road with his mates, while the camera pulls back to show that he's barely four foot tall. He gets into clubs, pulls the birds, and generally rules the roost, and all while scoffing Tic Tacs.

So not only did Banks Hoggins' joint creative director Rob Fletcher have to find an ice-maiden model, a short black guy,

a posse of gang-members and velvet-lapelled overcoats for the whole company, he also had to sweet-talk a suitably meaty bouncer for the 'if you're name's not down, you're not comin' in' club scene.

The search was on. The criteria were tough. But, apparently, there's no shortage of seven-foot-tall bouncers in London - Fletcher and fellow creative Dave Alexander saw about 100 of them.

So imagine our hero's horror when, out of the shadows and into the glare of the spotlight, stepped a face he recognised. Yes, that enormous hulk of a man, with limbs of steel and an evil glare fitted the bill - he looked as if he really could give a man a good kicking.

Well, that's because he had - Fletcher to be exact - after a beery night out in the West End.

'His arms were as tall as me,' quakes Fletcher, sweatily recalling the incident which led to an ill-thought encounter in the street with Mr Mean.

'Shame, really, that I'd met him in such unfortunate circumstances, as he was perfect for the job.'

So, did our hero step from the shadows and put his art before his personal safety. Not likely. 'I hid,' Fletcher admits. 'I went back to the bar, just to check it was him and there he was. I ran away again.' Such courage.





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