Hello there, Peter Richards here, Ella David’s Creative Director extraordinaire.
My secretary – actually doing her job for once – has told me you’re interested in what Ella does all day? Good question. What exactly do I pay her for? She spends most of her time eating, penning letters from a cat to little old ladies and banging on about wanting the same pay as a man. Yawn.
You should’ve asked about me. I’m far more interesting. Especially now I’m divorced and officially I’m back on the market. Foot loose, fancy-free, fax me.
Here’s Ella now, cappuccino in one hand, croissant in the other, looking even more rotund than she did yesterday. If you’re thinking of taking a photo you’ll need a wide-angle lens.
Ciao for now. If you fancy debriefing me when you’re through with Ella, I’ll be in my orifice.
Hi there, I am Ella. Good to meet you.
Word to the wise, Peter’s best avoided. Recently, he’s taken to wearing the same suit and tie two days running, hoping to fool us into thinking he pulled and stayed the night at hers, when we all know he was home alone, playing with his ball-clicker.
To answer your question, I don’t have typical days. Just surreal ones.
Take today, for example. Here we are filming an ad for dog food. When I arrive on set, a disused aircraft hangar on the outskirts of London, the director has dressed the star turn in a tuxedo. The dog now thinks he suits a bow-tie and demands a matching cummerbund. That’s what happens when you work with animals.
I stress about whether the dog knows his lines. Then, remember they are being read by an actor, a very good-looking one. Sadly, I can’t imagine he likes girls with small boobs, fat thighs and no intention of going on the F-plan diet. Or any diet. Not with that catering van parked up outside offering a ridiculous array of food. How many calories in an apple donut? Can’t be many, it’s mainly fruit. I’ll have two.
Peter arrives, late as usual, no doubt having given some poor unsuspecting PA the ride of her life in the back of the cab on the way over.
When the client, a tall, slim blonde, turns up Peter rushes to greet her. There’s nothing PC about Peter. He tries to slip her the tongue but at the crucial moment she bends down to pet the dog. Peter has no option but to retire to the sofa, a copy of Precision Marketing strategically placed over his lap. The dog, also feeling frisky, dry-humps the woman’s leg until dragged off by the producer, a laid-back chap, already on his second whiskey. Bottle not glass.
When the director calls ‘Action’, we spend the next four hours filming the pooch, minus DJ and dicky-bow, wolfing down bowlfuls of food. This can only end one way.
The dog bounds off, pounds lighter. The director declares it a wrap. We review the commercial. It stinks. I can’t even blame the dog.
About Joan Ellis
I spent years penning letters from dogs. As an award-winning copywriter, you have to be adaptable! I worked with talented people including Paula Yates, Jennifer Saunders and Harry Enfield. With a full-time job in a London advertising agency and a new baby, I did what any right-minded woman would’ve done and set up a comedy club. I even appeared on the same bill as Jo Brand. Once. As a university lecturer, I taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising. I also tutored Wordsworth’s great-grandson in the art: Buy a host of golden daffodils. Get a yellow one, free! I also wrote a column in a fashionable glossie about my young daughter. She is eighteen now and has never read a word of them. A Londoner, I now live beside the sea-side and eat mainly cream teas.
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