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Monday, 20 December, 1999, 11:32 GMT
Oxo puts sex on the menu
Oxo says the new adverts reflect the way we live today
The Oxo gravy adverts have been revamped with a sexy, free-and-easy image after 16 years of homely appeal.

Four new adverts have been produced featuring real-life couples at home who are more interested in sex, beer and football than sitting down to a roast dinner.

In one advert, viewers can play gooseberry to a couple enjoying a romantic meal - another shows a group of lads swilling lager while watching football on the TV.

The traditional sit-down dinner has moved to the settee
The dramatic change to one of the UK advertising industry's most celebrated institutions follows the departure of the soap-ad family of Lynda, Michael and their two children.

Having entertained British audiences with their trials and tribulations for 16 years - the family lead by actress Lynda Bellingham - sat down to their last supper in September before being relegated to the advertising archives.

Oxo says it has dumped its old idea of the stereotypical domestic scenario because "family life is changing".

But, it says, its new campaign of one-off ads "focuses on family life as it is lived today with interchangeable characters who will strike a chord with every viewer".

One of the new sketches called the "Romantic Dinner" involves Keely Forsyth and her fiancÚ Ian Kilgannon together in their south-east London home.

In a more raunchy advert, entitled "Recipe d'Amour", Victoria Pugh and Richard Mylan demonstrate what happens when the power of love overtakes hunger.

Most families still prefer simple, home-cooked meals
Richard said: "People might be a bit surprised because it's very different to the traditional Oxo ads. But it's definitely the way forward and shows how people are really living today."

The fourth scenario, "Lager", reflects the "lad" culture, with one of four flat-sharing friends delegated to do the cooking during half-time of a football match.

The first of the series will be screened over the Christmas period, starting during the Boxing Day commercial break in Channel 4's teenage soap Hollyoaks.

Dubbed "Spag", it features the Marney family in their three-bedroomed council house in Essex.

Louise, her husband Paul and children Fred and Becky will be seen tucking into spaghetti bolognese.

See also:

01 Sep 99 | UK
Has dinner had its chips?
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