M&S ig­nites a Christ­mas ad war as it calls in Holly and He­len to fight El­ton

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - NEWS - By Katie Hind

THE bal­loon’s gone up on the tra­di­tional – and highly lu­cra­tive – TV Christ­mas com­mer­cial bat­tle, with Holly Wil­loughby and He­len Mirren sign­ing up with Marks & Spencer to take on El­ton John’s ad­vert for John Lewis.

Take That will pro­vide the theme tune and it’s un­der­stood that film­ing for the M&S ad­ver­tise­ment be­gan last night. The chain’s bosses are hop­ing that by re­cruit­ing 73-year-old act­ing roy­alty Ms Mirren and 37year-old This Morn­ing star Holly they will be able to ap­peal to shop­pers across the gen­er­a­tions.

Holly’s ap­pear­ance in the cam­paign comes shortly af­ter she signed a lu­cra­tive deal with M&S to be the chain’s brand am­bas­sador.

Last week we re­vealed that John Lewis signed El­ton John for £5m.

Ear­lier this month he filmed scenes at Pinewood Stu­dios in Buck­ing­hamshire of him play­ing the pi­ano in what will be the cli­max of the ad­vert.

It will also star younger ac­tors, who play El­ton, 71, as a child and teenager. A source said last night: ‘The com­pe­ti­tion be­tween Marks & Spencer and John Lewis has be­come huge now. Both are do­ing ev­ery­thing they can to outdo the other.’

POP­U­Lar: Holly Wil­loughby

aP­PeaL: He­len Mirren

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