Casting Director: Dan Hubbard
Having been contractually gagged until the commercial’s release, I can now offer grateful thanks to Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper, Janet McTeer (my “wife” Mrs Claus for the two days’ filming), casting director Dan Hubbard and to Molly and all the gang from Smuggler who made the occasion such a delight for me. (The crew were constantly suggesting I take off my costume, but I knew better: this was the hot-and-sweatiest job since Baloo the Bear in 1995; I learnt then that there’s nothing worse than putting back on a clammy, damp, heavy cozzie after a lunch break.)
There was a real chalet, log fire and – outside in the blizzard – a sleigh with real reindeer to stroke. As a seasoned traveler, I expected to feel the cooling blast of the polar gale as I stepped out of our house and into its teeth; and yet it was warmer outside than in. I had never before been to Pinewood Studios – and certainly not in July – nor been collected from Kent in such a luxurious limo. It even had on-board Wi-Fi. How do they even do that?
Oh, did I mention that the job was immensely sweaty? So much so that they sent out for a fresh pair of boxer shorts and socks. M&S, of course.