Hibs-daft actor stars in series of adverts during SPL coverage

HE has led the line in West End plays and starred as Macbeth in Stateside productions.

But trained actor Simon Tait may have landed his biggest role yet as a nameless football fan cheering traffic jams, a flock of sheep and goals scored with a pebble for a series of TV adverts promoting Carling.

The Hibs-daft 54-year-old appears in more than 40 different short adverts sandwiched between commercial breaks on Sky and ESPN's coverage of the SPL.

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Each quirky 'mini-film' lasts just five seconds and features Mr Tait and three other Scots actors reacting to everyday events like it was part of an epic football match.

The plot centres on the raucous foursome who have been transported - along with their terracing - from a football stadium to a series of iconic Scottish landmarks.

Haddington resident Mr Tait explained that as a dyed-in-the-wool Hibby the role wasn't a big departure.

"I love watching the SPL having been a fan of Hibernian FC, and football in general, since I was young.

"We had great fun making the advert, which took us all over Scotland and gave us plenty of laughs. I'll look forward to seeing myself when I switch on to catch the next Hibs game!"

Among the locations featured in the marketing campaign were George Square and the River Clyde in Glasgow, the Firth of Forth and the Falkirk Wheel.

"We got a lot of odd looks cheering buses and traffic in George Square," said Mr Tait. "There were a lot of drivers laughing along with us but also a few just shouting abuse.

"It's certainly the oddest thing I have ever done but we had so much fun. I had never met any of the other actors before but soon felt like I had known them all my life."

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Despite the camaraderie, there were a few hairy moments, including a run-in with golf club-toting locals on the banks of the Clyde.

"We were sitting on our mini-terrace in the Renfrew Ferry and noticed a couple of adults and two kids on the embankment taking golf clubs from a bag. Next thing we know they were whacking these golf balls at us and we were like sitting ducks in the river. It was like being in the trenches trying to evade these things."

But Mr Tait, who made his first curtain call in the 1970s and has been cast in a string of TV programmes including Taggart, said this advertising campaign was his finest hour.

"I have been lucky to win many fine roles but this was the best job I have done," he said. "We had a great director and four Scottish actors to sit and talk about football. It was fantastic."

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