North Walsham

North Walsham man’s day filming Sainsbury’s Christmas advert

Just Regional
Nov 26, 2014 2 mins read

It’s got everyone talking this year and gone viral on the internet. But what was it like being involved in the making of Sainsbury’s Christmas advert?

As his “day job” Stuart Wilby, from North Walsham, works for Roys at the Highways Nursery branch of their business.

But it’s his hobby which led to him becoming part of this year’s Christmas advert for Sainsbury’s, re-enacting an iconic part of British history.

He and several other locals were among of the hundreds of extras involved in the shooting of the ad last September, first shown on TV screens November 13 in a break in Coronation Street.

The advert was filmed in September at a site in Ipswich, where farmland has been put aside to recreate an authentic trench system.

And it was all very cloak and dagger. Stuart explained: “We didn’t know what we would be filming until the day and we had to sign a confidentiality clause to not talk about it until it was first shown.”

He said the crew was one of the most professional he had ever worked with. “They wanted to make it as authentic as possible and were very hot on not seeing anything modern in the takes,” Stuart said.

The snowy scene was recreated using some huge snow canons and filming took a week to complete.

“I was there for one day, the part where the football match ends and all the soldiers go back to their trenches,” said Stuart.

Stuart is one of a group of re-enactors in North Norfolk, who take part regularly in filming, special events and educational displays with Black Knight Historical.

He was an extra for the first time in 1988 in the filming of All The King’s Men, where he met Taff Gillingham, the man who contacted him for this latest role as one of hundred of extras.

But do you get to see him in the final take? “I think you can see me for about half a second,” he said.

You can read more in December’s Just North Walsham.

North Walsham man Stuart Wilby takes a selfie on the set of the Sainsbury's Christmas advert

North Walsham man Stuart Wilby takes a selfie on the set of the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert

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