Comedian and former ‘Phirips’ radio campaign ad star Mel Smith dies at 60

Comedian and director Mel Smith who has died at 60 was a force in advertising too back in the day, appearing in a lauded radio campaign for Philips from Leagas Delaney with comedy partner Griff Rhys-Jones and then setting up the highly successful Talkback production company with Rhys Jones that made ads as well as programmes.

Can’t find any audio (maybe someone can send us some) from the ‘Phirips’ campaign but here’s a TV ad from the same period.

Of the two Smith was by far the funnier but, as so often, it’s the more versatile Rhys Jones who actually had the more consistently successful career, becoming the BBC’s go-to man for just about everything that needs a presenter (second only to Stephen Fry perhaps) and fronting big ad campaigns for the likes of Vauxhall.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.