Strong local flavour in iconic Australia Day lamb TV advert
There are three things most of us look forward to on January 26 – Australia Day, a day off work, and the iconic Australian lamb TV advert.
Well, this year there’s even more to savour – a Hawkesbury father and daughter star in the new ad which went live today.
Called, Make Lamb, Not Walls, the ad is set in the not too distant future – the year 2031 - where division between the states has seen giant concrete border walls separating each state and territory from one another.
When a crack appears, the aroma of a perfectly cooked piece of lamb on one side of a wall is too much for Aussies to resist, so they smash through the concrete and reunite over a BBQ.
L-R - Eliza, Alastair, and son Angus's girlfriend Tiarne McMaster
“Looks like Sydney’s here” says Hawkesbury farmer and actor Alastair McLaren to his real life daughter 14-year-old Colo High student Eliza at 1.19mins into the ad, as people start to break down the walls – in the McLaren’s case with farm implements - to get together over a good piece of lamb.
“At the start, Eliza wasn’t all that keen about doing the ad,” Alastair told the Post. “She reluctantly came along with me but when it came time for hair and make-up, they said I was perfect,” laughs Alastair. “But the girls had to have hair and make-up and then Eliza, who hadn’t done anything like this before, really started to enjoy it, it was such an eye-opener for her and a great experience. And now, absolutely she’d love to do it again.”
The shoot took place over two days in Mittagong and Alastair was also lucky enough to meet one of his all-time small screen heroes, Robina Beard of Palmolive soap ad fame (“You’re soaking in it”), on set. Ms Beard – who plays a woman on a mobility scooter charging at the wall – even gave Alastair a signed copy of her book, My Life. You’re soaking in it.
Alastair’s full-time job is a fifth generation farmer, and he and his family run Yarramundi’s Paddock To Plate & McLaren's Shearing, producing pasture-fed beef, chicken, and of course lamb, but Alastair clearly has acting in his blood too and is signed to two dramatic agents. He was in the 2020 remake of Children of the Corn filmed mostly in Australia and has appeared in a TV ad for National Australia Bank when he also played a farmer, a part which helped him get the lamb ad appearance.
“It was a privilege and honour to be part of such an iconic ad,” Alastair said.
“The lamb ad is always very clever and extremely witty, and it’s a bit risqué too. I remember someone saying, if you don’t get at least one complaint about it every year then you are not doing your job. I think it’s a great ad, it’s fun, and it was great for both of us to be part of it.”
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