Giles Billingsworth, one of the leading lights of television shopping, was today celebrating landing one of the prized jobs in his industry when he was confirmed as the face of "Alan's 'lectrics" in the Camden Lock market.
"It was a great opportunity that I simply could not pass-up," said Mr Billingsworth of his new appointment. "You know you work hard all those years knocking out pots and pans and embroidery sets at 2am, this makes it all worthwhile."
Giles, recently voted 23rd in a poll of housewives favourite camp presenters, said that there was fierce competition in the tele-shopping industry to land such career enhancing roles.
"TV shopping is great, but there is more to the true craft than talking to a producer who is pretending to be a caller gushing about a set of tea-towels," said Billingsworth. ""Everyone is trying to get that high-profile role at the front of the stall, dealing with real people directly and tackling real issues – such as why the packaging is damaged and covered in broken glass."
Mr Billingsworth said that he was looking forward not just to a higher profile role at an open air market, compared to a barely watched digital TV channel, but also hoping to explore the true art of selling tat.
"When you tread the boards, you are really part of the creative process," he said. "The real art, where you give so much of yourself to the craft, is less about repeating the same script of product specs night after night. Instead you are able to get a real empathy with your audience. Or whether he is just a nark on the lookout for dodgy DVDs"
For Giles it this intensity of the live performance and not just the money, that had lured him to the open air market.
"The TV role is draining – acting astonished, hour after hour, at each bout of pre-rehearsed price slashing. I wanted to get back to be a true creative, back to the amateur dramatics of the cake stall at my village fête when I was a teenager," he said. "There is nothing like the smell greasy burgers or the roar of the two-stroke generator when you are doing that matinee performance on a Saturday. When you are in a studio, with only the unblinking eye of the cold camera lens for company, you rarely get the thrill of running away from the coppers with a suitcase of knocked-off watches."
Billingsworth says that he has not turned his back on further film and television work in the future, indeed he hopes that if his live performance on the market is a success it will increase his credibility with casting directors on the next rung up the ladder of stardom.
"I want to show my range of talents. I have gone from TV shopping on to market stall level of performance," he said. "After that I hope to move up to a bit part in an independently produced porn movie."
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