AMV uses Collins in WH Smith's ad

Jackie Collins, one of the most familiar names on the WH Smith's bookshelves, makes a guest appearance in the high street retailer's pre-Christmas campaign.

Jackie Collins, one of the most familiar names on the WH Smith's bookshelves, makes a guest appearance in the high street retailer's pre-Christmas campaign.

She has been signed, along with the singer Ronan Keating, who will be seen among a series of 30-second commercials breaking nationally on Monday through Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.

The pair are woven into storylines involving the dysfunctional Smith family and their Christmas shopping. The family members are all played by the actor Nicholas Lyndhurst, best known as Rodney from the TV comedy series Only Fools and Horses.

As well as playing all of the human members of the Smith family, Lyndhurst even gets to play Roger, the family dog.

Each of the films highlights a particular Christmas gift idea from the retailer, which has 700 stores across the UK and claims 7.5 million regular customers, but which has been suffering because of the tough trading conditions on the high street.

Collins flew in from Los Angeles to shoot the scene, in which she signs a copy of her latest novel, Lethal Seduction, for the sheepish Mr Smith to give to his wife - his only concession to seasonal romance.

In another film, Mrs Smith - played by Lyndhurst in a specially-made ball gown - gets to go dancing with Keating to help promote the singer's newly-published autobiography.

All the commercials were written by Mike Nicholson, art directed by Daryl Corps and directed by Sid Roberson of Roberson Films. Media buying for the ads is through Starcom Motive.

Lyndhurst recently gained recognition for fronting the WH Smith TV advertising since AMV won the account in 1996, when the campaign was voted the most popular of the year at the National Television Awards.

Lyndhurst has been cast alongside several celebrity guests during successive pre-Christmas campaigns for WH Smith. Last year, Martine McCutcheon made an appearance, while the Status Quo group members Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt have also been seen.



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