NEWS: BT tests McGrath for Hoskins role

The comedian, Rory McGrath, is being publicly auditioned as a possible successor to Bob Hoskins in BT’s ‘it’s good to talk’ TV campaign.

The comedian, Rory McGrath, is being publicly auditioned as a possible

successor to Bob Hoskins in BT’s ‘it’s good to talk’ TV campaign.

But McGrath is unlikely to be the sole replacement, and could be one of

two or three presenters drafted in when Hoskins’ contract expires at the

end of the year.

McGrath, who made his name as a panellist in the BBC TV sports quiz,

They Think it’s all Over, will star in a series of eight commercials to

promote price cuts for national and international calls.

In the first 30-second film, which went on air on Tuesday through Abbott

Mead Vickers BBDO, McGrath highlights current speculation by talking

about his audition and asking whether there is any chance of having

Hoskins’ job on a permanent basis.

‘We want to judge how it goes with McGrath,’ a BT source said. ‘But it’s

fair to say that he will not be the one and only replacement.’

Speculation has been mounting about who will be Hoskins’ successor since

Billy Connolly turned down the job (Campaign, 9 August).

BT says a different presenter is needed for its price-cut initiative to

differentiate the campaign from the ‘it’s good to talk’ ads and the

business commercials fronted by Brian Walden.

In the series of commercials, some of which are still being shot,

McGrath is portrayed as a blundering substitute for Hoskins as he tries

to remain invisible and stumbles into some awkward situations.

The former England soccer coach, Terry Venables, the Pakistan cricketer,

Wasim Akram, and the comedian, Rolf Harris, will make appearances in the


The ads were written by David Abbott, AMV’s creative director, art

directed by Ron Brown and directed by Ross Cramer through Will Van der

Vlugt Films.

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