Video: Suffolk village hosts famed TV advert
THIRTY years after it was chosen as the perfect location for the cloak-and-dagger filming of a top car advert, one of Suffolk’s most picturesque villages is once again being used as the backdrop for a high-profile campaign.
In August 1980 Kersey, near Hadleigh, was used in the famous launch for the Austin Metro, described as a “British car to beat the world”, in a prestigious commercial that was kept closely under wraps by British Leyland until it aired.
And this week a production team has been shooting the next of the hugely-popular Compare the Meerkat adverts in the parish.
With his “simples” catchphrase and jaunty jingle, Aleksandr the Meerkat has become a huge star since his debut in January 2009.
And now the furry Russian “aristoKat” has been in Suffolk filming the latest commercial in a series for the insurance comparison site comparethemarket.com.
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Parish council vice-chairman John Maltby said the production team had been using some of the village buildings, which had been mocked up to look like shops and a “meerkat school”.
And despite claims to the contrary, he said the filming had been open to anyone in the village to observe.
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Mr Maltby said: “One house has been converted into a flower stall and another had a false front stuck on it to make it look like a tiny cottage. The next had been turned into a book shop.
“And last night I think they filmed in the Bell public house. Anyone who wished to come and see could have done so.”
Mr Maltby also confirmed that the insurance firm had made donations to the village hall and the parish council.
Last night a spokesman for comparethemarket.com said: “We can confirm that we are currently filming the new comparethemarket.com advert in Kersey.
“The new advert will be launched early in 2011. No further details are available at this time.”