My TV debut - JD Williams "I AM" campaign

Friday, September 21, 2018



Hello my lovely readers and welcome to this extra post which brings you my 15 seconds of TV fame. This is the culmination of a roller coaster ride which started months ago when I attended a casting session in London. There had been a call out on Instagram for bold, colourful women who refuse to go quietly - surely this had my name on it? I applied, was shortlisted, later I sent a video of who "I AM" and was shortlisted again and invited to attend the London session. 


Annie, Rachel, me, Savi and Paulina - the five stars of the I AM campaign.

This is my first attempt to be taken on by a major fashion brand and so the casting was a nerve wracking event. In fact, when I arrived at the venue I took one look through the open doorway and walked right on by. I'd seen too many beautiful and colourful women inside that it freaked me out. I stopped further along the street and called my best friend Bo. And she did what everyone's best friend does, she talked some sense into me. Yes, of course I could travel all the way from the Scillies to London to just take a peek through a door, but maybe that would be a bit too crazy, even for me! "Go girl!" she urged, and off I went.


The audition itself is a total blur as I think I was awash with adrenalin. I stood under a bank of lights and talked, nay, jabbered on like an idiot, although a very passionate one and at one point was asked to dance. "Will it be Abba?" I asked. " I'm afraid not." came the reply from one of dimly lit casting couches. The soundtrack started, something new to my ears, not a beat I recognised and yet in front of me, cameraman and producer were urging me on to show my moves. After a slow start, I got into the rhythm and then everyone in the room blended away until it was just me and the music. 


I love to dance, and have no idea of it's mum dancing I do, but I don't care. I somehow don't think it was my dancing that got me through the audition though, but it doesn't matter, cos hey, some 10 days later I got the call to say they wanted me for the campaign. 

My summer has been a very different one to any I could have imagined, with me somehow keeping all the plates spinning - summer exhibitions, wardrobe fitting, swimming, blogging, filming, artists visiting and me finally becoming au fait with the timetable for flights between Newquay and Manchester along with the small corner of the city that has now become familiar to me.


I'll just let vanity have her say here. These are the very first professional shots I've ever had taken and it's quite a surprise to see what I look like at 60. My own diplomatic blog photographers (and the restrictions of my amateur kit) all manage to avoid revealing the honest truth of a face that has lived, loved, swum and embraced the big outdoors without much in the way of sunscreen for these past 60 years. I somehow also think that exercise helps to feed that illusion, as a trim figure, a youthful stride and a young at heart attitude is deceptive, but what it all comes down to is - This is what 60 looks like! My bubble may have been deflated a little here, but in the nicest possible way; after hours in hair and make-up I've been turned into a star for a day. 


The final line up from the TV advert here - Annie, Kath, Paulina, Katie, Andrea and yours truly. I've not tried to post a video link before, so if it doesn't work then please click here to see the full length version on the website along with more about the campaign.

Today's post features some of the images sent to me by JD Williams and is just a taster of what I'll be featuring later next week as I've got lots more to share with you from behind the scenes. I'm obviously very biased, but I think this campaign showing real women of ages 45 and over, of all shapes and sizes is a great stride forward for fashion. Hurrah therefore to JD Williams for breaking ground here!

I'll be back on Monday with the monthly post from our Style Not Age collective - see you then!

Anna x

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35 comments

  1. BRAVO Anna!

    I loved the full length commercial even better.

    You GO woman!

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. Thanks so much for your vote of confidence Suzanne - I know you're not easily impressed!

      Have a fab weekend,
      Anna x

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  2. Oh I love it! I went to watch and read over at the website too and I am so pleased for you! You really deserve to do something like this for you ARE an inspiration!!! Very, very cool. xx

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    1. Kezzie, you're so very kind. I remember when you and I had our day on the island together we talked about finding the right brand for a genuine relationship and personal fit, and now I've found mine. Sharing my story goes to show that anything is possible.

      Have a super weekend!
      Anna x

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  3. I will check out the full commercial at home this weekend, but Anna, you look incredibly good for 60. Hell, for any age! Be so proud of yourself, my dear.

    I do know what you mean, though - I had some candids taken of me at a work event yesterday, and oh man, I did not like seeing me at nearly 51. Shocker to see the wrinkles, the droopy neck, the crepey skin. Ack! Trauma!

    Have a wonderful weekend, my dear.

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    1. Cheers Sheila and thanks for being honest about the shock value of a good photo. I think we have a soft focus version of ourselves in our head, built to help us be happy and confident and therefore this moment of truth is only a shock to us, as everyone else views us as we truly are, wrinkles and all. I also know that when I look at another women, one I've known for years, I only see the generalness of her - hairstyle, facial features and outfit of the day - these are the things I see, but I don't view her under the microscope of self criticism which we subject ourselves too. I realise I need to be kinder to myself and say, yay for me at 60!

      Hope you have a super weekend!
      Anna x

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  4. Anna!!!!! You should be so proud of yourself. To actually have to go to an audition makes me wriggle with fright...I'm not sure I would have followed through with it. But you did, and obviously you are perfect for the campaign!!
    I think you look amazing for any age, let alone 6o......you shine like no other!! And to think I (kinda) know a celebrity now....
    OXOX
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. This whole journey has had a slightly surreal and other worldly quality to it because it has all had to be kept secret. At the outset we had to sign a contract of confidentiality and therefore I've kept the blog going along one track while in reality I've been hurtling wildly off on another. It's such a relief to finally share this wonderful event with my lovely, supportive readers. The brand is one I believe in and the campaign speaks my voice, therefore I'm terribly proud to be part of this.

      Thanks for your lovely comments. I'm not sure I'm actually a celebrity, but thank you anyway.


      Have a great weekend!
      Anna x

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  5. Brilliant, Anna. Really brilliant. Well done!!!

    I laughed about your audition jitters. It's a very freaky situation I've been in as well. I'm glad your friend gave you courage.

    And those high definition cameras, ooooh, I agree from my own experience that they are harsh. Hyper-real, not real real. Or so I tell myself. And you need to tell this to yourself too. Heh.

    I'm so happy for you. Well done. And well done JD Williams for spotting you and this entire campaign of positivity.

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    1. I knew you'd understand this inside story as it's part of your journey too Mel. I have a real drive and determination when I set my mind on something, but I hadn't mentally prepared myself for this new kind of reality. And heck yes, these HD shots are a killer! What 60 year old woman in her right might would put herself through this kind of scrutiny? Only a mad one of course!

      Thanks so much for your input and kind comments. I'm so proud to be part of this campaign.


      Enjoy your weekend!
      Anna x

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  6. Oh I so enjoyed it. I have seen every video on I AM. And yes I can see your video on your blog as well. (I will send you a tip through email on this subject.)
    It must be sooooo nice to be in this ad. Man, I cannot believe you almost didn't go in. I would have jumped the stairs to get in. Alas nobody asks me haha.
    You did great. A shame though they didn't give you a line (a word too). Only in the behind-the-scenes footage.
    Be a star darling and thoroughly enjoy it.
    Greetje

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    1. Forgot to say.. YOU LOOK BLOODY FANTASTIC with those high definition cameras on you. Watch my photos this time tomorrow. Taken by a real photographer and showing the back of my forearms. I couldn't believe the wrinkles and loose skin I saw haha.

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    2. I so appreciate your lovely words Greetje. Rest assured that I'm totally enjoying this now and can share with you that I've recently taken part in the filming of the Christmas campaign and you may well see/hear more from me in that one.
      Much as it was a terrible shock to see these HD images of my wrinkly face, I think we owe it to our peers to show them the reality of women and the true ageing process. It annoys me to see 25 year olds used to advertise anti-wrinkle cream, so I have to accept that showing my time ravaged face is a real step forward.

      I'll drop by to see the real deal with you later my dear.

      Have a super weekend!
      Anna x

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  7. Yay!!
    Congratulations dear Anna!!
    Blimey Mrs you look AMAZING... totally stole the show for me.
    XXX

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    1. Oh Sam, thank you for that! I love these biased comments from my tribe - such is the joy of blogging!


      Have a great weekend x
      Anna

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    2. Nonsense!
      Not biased at all!!!!!!! :o)
      XXX

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  8. Well done, Anna! You must be so thrilled. I'm not sure I would have made it through that door ... Hurray for best friends! The TV advert is brilliant and you are looking absolutely gorgeous! xxx

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    1. Ann, thank you so much! My blogging family are doing me proud, stepping forwards to give me such wonderful support. I too, think the advert is amazing and I get tingles every time I hear our soundtrack now. This music has become part of my life and will remain a joy for me always.

      Wishing you a super weekend!
      Anna x

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  9. Oh Anna! I'm so happy for you! CONGRATULATIONS!!
    I'm sure that this special kind of recognition, reinforcement, and even validation for just being your authentic, fabulous self is an amazing way to continue living your 60th year with vigor,heart and panache.
    You've worked hard to reveal the force that you are and it's so good to see you THRIVING under those big ol', nasty, high definition, lights. TADAH!!!

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    1. My dearest Jude, you've echoed my every thought and wish throughout this amazing year. I truly believe in the saying "What's for you won't go past you" and when I saw that initial shout out on Instagram I felt a true connection and sense that this was for me. At one stage my beliefs were tested as others had been contacted and taken on, but not me. This campaign reflects me and therefore reflects all those ordinary, mature women I joyfully represent. I'm proud that the only prerequisite was to be me and yes that the validation is simply for being me. TADAH indeed!


      Thanks for your support and appreciation!
      Anna x

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  10. Congratulations, Anna! Now I believe real women are used in adverts - and about time too! Clothes are fabulous on you. Did you get to keep them? I do hope so.

    Have a lovely week
    xxxx

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    1. Isn't it great to see real women in this campaign. There were lots of lovely outfits that I tried on at wardrobe fitting, but they chose well as this colour blocking, especially the yellow, works so well on me.

      Wishing you a fab week too!
      Anna x

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  11. What a fabulous experience and how lucky are you to have been able to take part in something like this.
    I am very new to blogging and only started this new adventure in November of 2017 so am learning as I go along. Your posts are great and I love reading about your experiences. Carry on with your fabulous posts and looking out for the next.

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    1. Thanks for your feedback. Yes, I've been very lucky, especially as it was my first casting.
      It's lovely to hear from you Jill. I think the best way to learn is just to do it and also keep reading what other bloggers are up to. You have to find your own way to show your individuality. Good luck!

      Have a great week!
      Anna x

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  12. Oh, I see what you mean about your August bubble! What an experience, amazing and terrifying at the same time. You were so brave, that sort of thing is only for the brave of heart and you obviously sailed through the whole nerve-wracking process. They were lucky to have you join their campaign. But what next for our star of the silver screen?!

    Hugs from your faint hearted friend! x.

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    1. Mary, my whole summer seems to have been a bubble! Yes, I did suffer nerves and felt ready to flee during the casting, but hey, it was worth it.

      Back to work is the answer to your what next. I have a lot of winter works coming up soon and even one final show to host before then, so it's business as usual.

      Wishing you a lovely week!
      Anna x

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  13. Absolutely stunning photos Anna! I love the red and yellow outfits...I might just have to buy them! I collaborated with JD Williams a couple of times a while back and love the clothes! Huge congratulations!

    Emma xxx
    www.style-splash.com

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    1. Thanks Emma. I've just ordered the Megan trousers in blue and am now thinking I need them in yellow for this season too. The fit is perfect for my 5ft 5in frame so it's a great find for me. Working for this brand is a dream Emma, as I'm sure you found in the past too.

      Wishing you a fab week!
      Anna x

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  14. What an exciting time! The photos are fantastic Anna. I look forward to reading more about the campaign xx

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    1. So very sweet of you to say Laurie. I know you're an expert at this by now, but it's been a steep learning curve for me - so much has happened since I saw you in London!


      Have a great week!
      Anna x

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  15. I just read and looked at everything they had and it was fabulous! Thank you for showing younger women the way and thank you for changing perceptions about older women. Really. I've got tears brimming. You deserve this and more people need to hear and see you!

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    1. How lovely to have my tribe rally around me during this most exciting of times Julia! As the oldie of this campaign I'm so proud to have been able to strut my stuff with these beautiful women and feel validated by the brand. Hurrah that ordinary women are being shown that life's not over just because you're 60!

      Thanks so much for your loyal support!
      Anna x

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  16. woww, I'm so glad for you and it's such a fabulous campaign, with lots of inspiring ladies and lots of attitude! Love to see all sizes and ages represented in advertising! and love that you could have a role in it!
    And those pictures of you are fantastic! You totally rock!
    besos

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    1. Yes Monica, lots of attitude is what we diverse group bring to the campaign which is no bad thing! Love that all my blogging friends are cheering me on from the sidelines.

      Anna x

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