Between 1991 and 1998 the little Renault Clio became a beacon of French sophistication and afternoon-shagging all thanks to two words – ‘Papa’ and ‘Nicole’.
The basic premise was a French father and daughter having a right giggle behind each other’s backs by running around town in a small car getting their rocks off.
I can’t say I understand it, but I’m sure it’s very European.
In fact the engages were based on Audrey Hepburn (Nicole) and Hugh Griffith (her papa) in the 1966 crime caper film ‘How To Steal A Million’.
Check out more clips from the series and a catch-up with the stars of the Renault ads after the jump!
The final ad in 1998 ruined the series (at least for me) by including Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer for no apparent reason.
I like Vic and Bob but it felt like throwing The Inbetweeners into one of those posh M&S food ads because it would ‘test well with the youth’.
This ad was a big deal by the way – Nicole wore a dress by Deborah Milner and a hairstyle by Nicky Clarke, with her ring designed by Stephen Webster – and the press in frothy excitement over who the mystery groom would be.
It premiered during the Coronation Street ad break on 29 May 1998 and an estimated 23 million viewers watched (at least one small boy watching in disgust).
Estelle Skornik – ‘Nicole’
Estelle is a French actress who is still primarily known in the UK for the ads – but she also played a prostitute called Ada opposite Johnny Depp and Heather Graham in ‘From Hell’.
Max Douchin – ‘Papa’
Sophisticated Max is still busy working in French television where, judging by his IMDB, he has completely cornered the market in playing army officers.
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