TV ad star Wally, 73, still harbours Hollywood hope

PUBLISHED: 10:12 03 September 2012 | UPDATED: 10:12 03 September 2012

Sidmouth's Wally Cotgrave is appearing as a Somerset farmer in a television advert for Exmorr National Park

Sidmouth's Wally Cotgrave is appearing as a Somerset farmer in a television advert for Exmorr National Park

Archant

A GOOD-HUMOURED Sidmouth pensioner says he still harbours hopes of Hollywood at the age of 73 after starring in an advert on national television.

Wally Cotgrave, of Winslade Road, can be seen promoting Exmoor National Park in the 30-second promo under the guise of a Somerset farmer.

“I’ve been on television before but this is in the top drawer,” said Wally, who has been singing and acting for a quarter of a century.

“I’m not expecting it to end here. I’m looking for an agent at the moment. Next stop Hollywood,” joked the expectant granddad.

Retired blacksmith Wally unexpectedly landed the role after hearing about it through Exeter Musical Society of which he used to be a member.

“They asked me to speak like a Somerset farmer – I’m originally from Notting Hill – but I was able to do the accent.”

Wally, who is currently rehearsing for a small part in Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society’s upcoming ‘Allo ‘Allo production, spent a day filming the advert in glorious sunshine on an organic farm.

He got a genuine nip while feeding pigs in one scene.

“It’s the nearest I’ve come to death in my life,” said Wally.

“Its the first time I’ve ever played a farmer. I was evacuated to a farm during the war but was terrified of all the animals.

“When you film an advert it feels like forever, but when you see it, it’s 30 seconds and gone.

“It was really different, interesting and I enjoyed myself.”

Wally is well known for busking around the town with friend Celia Monck.

Their efforts, and charity boxes Wally has placed around East Devon shops, have raised more than £17,000 for Help for Heroes.

Wally’s advert appearance can be seen on channels like Yesterday, Blighty and Food Network.

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