Creative Brand Communications


May 28, 2012

Return of the Secret Lemonade Drinker.

LONDON, Monday 28th May 2012: One of Britain’s most famous commercials will return to TV screens tonight (Monday). The iconic 1973 ‘Secret Lemonade Drinker’ ad, one of the longest running and best-loved campaigns in television history, has been recreated with its original cast to launch a new R White’s lemonade ice lolly.

Frederick’s Dairies, who produce the lollies for R White’s owner Britvic, reunited actors Julian Chagrin and Harriet Philpin after almost 40 years, following a public appeal to find the original Mrs R White’s.The airing of the advert will mark the start of National Ice Cream Week.

The campaign had to be put on hold for several months while talent, online and social media searches for Harriet failed to uncover her whereabouts. In the end, a public appeal caught the attention of Harriet’s son in London, who contacted his mother at her home in the Irish countryside.

The new advert was filmed in London and will premiere tonight on comedy channel Gold at 8.15pm.

The commercial opens with actor Julian Chagrin (72) creeping down the stairs in the middle of the night to a new ‘I’m a Secret Lemonade Licker’ song. Julian performs his original moves from the 1973 advert and is caught prancing around the kitchen in front of his ever disapproving onscreen wife, actress Harriet Philpin (60).

Julian Chagrin said, ‘It is amazing if not a little surreal to be recreating this R White’s advert. It has been an honour to be a part of a campaign which was taken to the nations’ hearts and I hope that this revival will mean that a new generation can also enjoy it.”

Harriet Philpin commented, “My son rang me up and said ‘you won’t believe it mum, you’re in the papers over here [in London], R White’s has spent months searching for you’. I got straight on the phone and was thrilled to be invited back on set with Julian to recreate the magic of the 70s for the new lolly.”

Jenny Bostock, from Britvic Licensing partner Frederick Dairies said, “R White’s is a much loved and iconic British brand. We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to mark its enduring appeal and the launch of the new lolly than to reunite the original cast.”

For pictures, video and more information contact Taylor Herring PR on 0208 206 5151

About R White’s

  • The original R White’s advert was launched in 1973 and won the Silver Award at the 1974 International Advertising Festival
  • It remains one of Britain’s all time favourite ads. In 2009 it came 7th in a Top 100 adverts poll.
    ‘The Secret Lemonade Drinker’ advert has previously been updated with guest appearances from  Frankie Howard, Ronnie Corbett and even tennis ace John McEnroe
  • Julian Chagrin is a British comedian and actor who had appeared in the classic film Blow Up before winning the role of the Secret Lemonade Drinker. He has been based in Israel for the past 20 years; written and directed a number short films to critical acclaim; and is an accomplished mime artist.
  • Harriet Philpin, 60, went on to star alongside Tom Baker in the classic Doctor Who serial Genesis of the Daleks, and to land roles in Blake’s 7 and The Sweeney.
  • Ross McManus wrote and performed the original song while his son, Elvis Costello (then Declan McManus), helped on the backing vocals.
  • R White’s Lemonade has been produced for over 160 years after being invented by Robert and Mary White in 1845.
  • In the 1970’s R White’s also produced other carbonated drinks including Orangeade, Dandelion and Burdock and Cream Soda flavours. R White’s was acquired by Britvic in 1986.

About Fredericks Diaries

  • Frederick’s Dairies has partnered up with Britvic having secured a 10-year ‘super licence’ which will see a selection of soft drinks brands enter the ice cream market. The R White’s lemonade lolly, will retail at £1, or £2.29 for a three-pack. . Robinson’s Fruit Shoot has also made the transition into ice lolly format, available as single Blackcurrant & Apple flavour squeeze-up (110ml for RRP £1) and as a mixed multipack of Blackcurrant & Apple and Orange flavour squeeze-ups (6x80ml for RRP £2.79)
  • Frederick’s also produce ice cream products for the Cadbury brand and iced refreshments for Del Monte.
  • The company has been named the Most Innovative Ice Cream company in the World receiving The Grocer magazine’s award for Top Launch.
  • Further information on Fredericks can be found at


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