DIARY: Abbey National drops Davies in favour of its star-struck amateurs

Hold on to your hats everybody, the bespectacled and musically

challenged Halifax employee, Howard, is soon to face a challenge to his

crown as the king of bank advertising.

Yes, the Abbey National has decided to ditch the comedian Alan Davies,

in favour of using customers to star in its latest ads. Cue widespread

hysteria as the British public, fired up by the omnipresent guff that is

Pop Idol, converged in their masses to recent audition at the Leeds Corn

Exchange in a bid to knock Howard off his king pin perch.

Shades of Michael Barrymore's now defunct TV show, My Kind Of People,

ensued as fame-obsessed wannabes ploughed their way through a selection

of scripts from EastEnders and Only Fools and Horses, clad in full

Barbara Windsor-inspired wigs and Pat Butcher face paint. Ye Gads.

Even that old media stalwart Richard Whiteley was on hand to oil the

wheels of acting talent and run through the scripts with the hopefuls of


"We were very impressed with the variety of people," the PR contact

said, tactfully neglecting to mention the standard of those involved.

"But we are not promising anyone they're going to be a star," she

hurriedly added, clearly with visions of teenage wannabes and tone-deaf

impresarios knocking down their door for television contacts.

Further auditions at Milton Keynes and Croydon are coming soon, so all

those starry-eyed fameseekers can get down there pronto - while the rest

of us give them a wide berth.


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