Diary: Little devil Shah winds up in big bother in Cape Town

Every now and then, a story rattles past that induces a rare thaw in Diary's habitual sang froid and gives it cause to spare a momentary thought for the little man.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO's new alien-themed ad for Wrigley's Airwaves is an exemplary case in point. For those who have not seen it yet, it tells the tale of an alien welcomed to our planet with a piece of the menthol-infused gum which, upon chewing, causes him to imagine a series of tedious Earth-bound encounters (the joy of flat-pack furniture assembly; a night at the bingo) and wisely high-tail it back to whatever far corner of the universe he came from.

So far, so good. But as part of the campaign, the alien, played by Kiran Shah (who, standing just four feet one inch tall, is the world's smallest professional stuntman), has been making public appearances in costume.

In London, the titular extraterrestrial has been harangued by bus drivers, photographed by bemused tourists and been the subject of several "alien sighting" phone-ins on the radio.

But in Cape Town, where the commercial was made, the crowd was altogether less friendly.

Mistaken for an evil spirit, Shah was chased by an angry mob screaming: "Death to the devil."


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