Mon 25 November 2019

A budding young performer from Fulham has become the star of the new Sainsbury’s Christmas advert, which takes viewers back to the origins of Father Christmas.

Ten-year-old Chris Dunckley, who has attended singing, dancing and acting lessons at Stagecoach Fulham since he was four years old, plays the eponymous part of Nicholas the Sweep in the advert. Filmed in Romania, the advert harks back to London in the 1800s, in line with the 150-year history of Sainsbury’s.

Wrongly convicted of stealing a clementine from a Sainsbury’s store, Nicholas is banished into a bleak winter landscape, only for it to transpire that he will grow to one day be the famous Saint Nick. As his first gesture of generosity, he gives all the children in the local orphanage a clementine in their stockings.

Chris said: “Getting this part in the Sainsbury’s Christmas Ad was the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me. I had to work hard but I loved every minute of it. I ran around my house singing at the top of my voice without my shirt on when I found out I’d got the part. I would love to do it again at any time.”

Managing Director of the Stagecoach Talent Agency, Tarquin Shaw-Young, added: “We put Chris through his paces with singing and script reading at the audition experience days, which offer green screen practice to ensure students are ready for whatever is asked of them at auditions. When I reviewed the tapes, I knew the agency needed to offer him representation because he was brilliant. We thought he was amazing, delivering very mature, yet natural, performances for his age.

“Chris has had a couple of good auditions but when the Sainsbury’s opportunity came, his name was written all over it. I could tell the buzz from the casting directors because they kept calling to chase his availability. These opportunities are almost once in a lifetime.”