ONE of Hartlepool’s favourite sons named-dropped the town in a television advert which is being beamed across the country to an audience of millions.
Born and bred Poolie Jeff Stelling – a presenter on TV’s Soccer Saturday – stars in a new Sky Broadband advert mimicking the commercial made featuring Hollywood actor Bruce Willis.
The ad sees Jeff wearing the same dressing gown as Bruce, but with novelty football slippers, complaining to a member of call-centre staff about the size of his bill.
But his anger soon subsides when a worker offers him a deal on his Sky package and he says to her “come on, let me show you round Hartlepool” to which she mouths to her colleague: “Where’s Hartlepool?”
She then walks off with him open-mouthed, as she did in the original with Bruce Willis, star of the Die Hard and Look Who’s Talking films.
Today Jeff, 58, who now lives in Hampshire, but whose family remains in Hartlepool, told the Mail he was honoured to have been able to name drop his home town to such a massive audience.
He said: “I was delighted to mention Hartlepool in the advert.
“Whenever I can I like to give the town a plug, obviously if it’s in the right way.
“People who watch Soccer Saturday will know that any opportunity I get I give Hartlepool a mention, so this was just another opportunity.”
Jeff, who also previously presented the quiz show Countdown, filmed the advert about a month ago, but it has only hit screens in the last few days.
He said the decision to mention the town was not just his, but a collective choice.
“All the people involved know my passion for Hartlepool and the script writers watch Soccer Saturday so it was just an idea that came about during conversations,” he said.
“It was a decision made by us all really, a communal idea.
“The actress who plays the girl that I’m going to show around Hartlepool, it was her idea to mouth the words ‘where’s Hartlepool?’
“I think it’s in good taste and is just another way to raise the town’s profile.”
The former Rift House Primary School pupil and former Hartlepool Mail journalist added: “There was an immediate response from the advert on Twitter which seemed to suggest it had gone down well.
“It was pretty good feedback.”