How the Milkybar child grew to become a drunk… and a showjumper, a musician and a gardener. We discover the celebs who rode into the sundown

How the Milkybar child grew to become a drunk… and a showjumper, a musician and a gardener. We discover the celebs who rode into the sundown

Final week, Nestle resurrected its Milkybar Child advert – with a montage of all of their youngster stars relationship again to 1961, when the advert first aired. However was being a Milkybar Child a curse or a blessing? DIANA APPLEYARD tracked down seven of the ten who’ve been featured since 1961 to find how their lives turned out…


Terry Brooks now lives in Spain with his wife Suzanne

Terry Brooks now lives in Spain together with his spouse Suzanne

The primary Milkybar Child was Terry Brooks. Now 58 and married to his second spouse, Sue, he has 4 youngsters and 5 grandchildren.

He works as a gardener and odd-job man at a rustic membership in Murcia, Spain. He says:

It is my lifelong declare to fame that I used to be the very first Milkybar Child – folks chortle once I inform them I used to be paid £10 for my first advert.

I bought into it as a result of my elder sister persuaded me to begin on the Peggy O’Farrell Stage College close to my dwelling within the East Finish of London, and I auditioned for the position.

Nobody knew how standard it will be – it made me well-known immediately. I used to be a panel-beater’s son, in order you possibly can think about, it modified my life. I did it for 5 years, on and off.

After the second yr, they upped my pay to £100 a yr, which was good cash for that point [the equivalent of a £3,000 salary today]. I bought day without work faculty, and as many chocolate bars as I might abdomen, too.

Terry in the original Milkybar advert

Terry within the unique Milkybar advert

At first I could not get sufficient of them, however by the point I used to be 14 or 15 I could not bear the style and needed to spit it out right into a bucket once I was filming.

All the cash went into an account my mother and father arrange for me that I wasn’t capable of entry till I used to be 18. But I managed to blow all of the money – about £700 with royalties included – every week after my 18th birthday on a motorcycle and a second-hand Lotus Elan. Not very clever.

After the advert, I had minor stage roles with Peter O’Toole and Norman Knowledge. However in my teenage years roles petered out, and I spent a short interval as a Pontin’s Bluecoat.

After that, performing roles dried up altogether, and I labored as an ice-rink attendant, a builder and a lorry driver. I used to be additionally an air-conditioning engineer for a time.

Now I am semi-retired, and have moved to Spain. It is a good life. I nonetheless marvel if I hadn’t been typecast whether or not my performing profession might need taken off. However my coronary heart was by no means actually in it – it was simply one thing I fell into.


John Cornelius now runs his own loft conversion company

John Cornelius now runs his personal loft conversion firm

John, 42, works in carpentry development in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Married to Amanda, 39, a housewife, he has two youngsters, Gemma, seven, and Arthur, two. He says:

On the age of seven, I grew to become the Milkybar Child, and I instantly discovered myself being ferried about in chauffeur-driven vehicles, given limitless chocolate bars to eat and being handled like a star.

I keep in mind driving by way of Wandsworth and seeing myself on a 60ft billboard and considering: ‘Wow, I’ve made it.’

I grew to become scorching property within the promoting world due to my seems to be and my cheeky smile.

John in the mid-70s adverts

John within the mid-70s adverts

The cash was OK, however I used to be teased by a few of my faculty mates. At 11, I made a decision sufficient was sufficient. I by no means appeared to be happy with something after I would had that style of stardom, and it wasn’t lengthy earlier than I went off the rails.

Aged 16, having left faculty, I took a job at a racecourse. Everybody round me drank on a regular basis and once I joined them on the bar, I had no restraint and my ingesting bought completely uncontrolled.

The press bought wind of it, and even in contrast me to Jack Wild, who grew to become an alcoholic after starring in Oliver!

All through my 20s, I critically abused alcohol. It will need to have been terrible for my mother and father.

I practically made it as a severe actor aged 12 – I used to be thought of for the main position in Simply William, however I did not get it as a result of I used to be too small. That is lots of disappointment for a younger youngster.

I did handle to work as a carpenter on movie units once I was older, however I used to be ingesting closely, till one morning I wakened and realised I would had sufficient of feeling sick and drained.

My mom booked me into rehab in 1996, once I was 29, and I have not had a drink since.

While you’ve had that have as a baby, it is an terrible lot to reside as much as. I did not even just like the style of the chocolate – I used to spit it out right into a cup once I needed to take a chew on digicam. 


Robbie, 36, lives in Chatham, Kent, and works as a drama instructor. He says:

I used to be the Milkybar Child within the Eighties, however since then life has been powerful.

13 years after I gave up the position, I needed to have a brand new kidney, which was donated by my mom.

I used to be born with a situation which slowed my kidney improvement.

I definitely was not ‘robust and hard’, just like the lyrics of the track within the advert.

Robbie Humphries because the Milkybar child from 1983-1986, and as he’s at present, a drama instructor in Kent

The operation was successful, fortunately. I now work as a instructor, having beforehand been the inventive director of a theatre firm in Kent.

My adverts had been space-themed, they usually had been nice enjoyable to do. I skilled on the Sylvia Younger Theatre College, and had already executed a few adverts earlier than I landed the Milkybar position once I was ten.

I bought to journey broadly, and the cash was good. I stored the position for 4 years and have been within the enterprise on and off since.

I appeared as a small-time drug seller in The Invoice once I was 18, however after that I spent two years making an attempt to reside as a traditional individual, doing regular jobs, then spent three years learning psychology.

My kidney issues worsened once I was in my early 20s, and I used to be placed on dialysis earlier than I had the transplant.

My weakened legs had been put in plaster, and it was whereas I had this time to assume that I made a decision I wished to get again into performing.

I joined the Drama Lab, an grownup theatre workshop run by the Changeling Theatre in Maidstone, Kent, and I’ve appeared on the stage and taught drama ever since. However there isn’t any doubt what my most well-known position will all the time be.

ANTHONY EDEN, 1988-1991

Anthony, 31, an actor, is single and lives in London. He says:

‘It is laborious to have had success at such a younger age since you assume every part else goes to be simply as simple.

I all the time had ambitions to behave, and once I was 9 I noticed an advert within the papers asking folks to audition for the half.

I persuaded my mother and father to take me alongside and, though they weren’t positive at first, as a result of they had been frightened it will intervene with my faculty work, they relented.

Anthony Eden was the Milkybar Child from 1988 to 1991. He now lives in London and acts in theatre productions

To my shock, I bought the half and spent three years because the Milkybar Child. It was nice enjoyable, nearly too thrilling, and I used to be standard at college as a result of Nestle turned up at Christmas with a giant van stuffed with Milkybars.

I used to be paid £8,000 a yr for the advert, which my mother and father put right into a checking account for me – it appeared an terrible lot.

The advert was filmed in a single week through the holidays, so I did not miss any faculty, which happy my mum and pa.

My time as The Child got here after the cowboy section, so I used to be extra of an Indiana Jones-type character. It meant I did not need to put on the cowboy outfit, which was a reduction. My nickname grew to become Milky, which has caught to at the present time.

Ultimately, I went to drama faculty and have continued to behave, primarily within the theatre.


Simon Desborough

Simon Desborough: ‘Cash is tight’

Simon, 27, grew to become the Milkybar Child on the age of eight. He is now a musician and lives together with his mother and father in Kent. He says:

‘Being the Milkybar Child is a curse and a blessing – I used to be teased rather a lot at college about it, and it taught me who my actual mates had been.

It is also laborious to reside as much as that sense of feat – it was a very huge factor as a result of I beat 4,000 different boys to win the audition.

My dad noticed the advert for the auditions in a newsagent’s window. It was superb to win the half. For 3 years, I used to be feted wherever I went and earned sufficient cash to pay for my non-public faculty charges.

I actually do not know the way a lot I bought, nevertheless it was definitely a number of thousand kilos. My mother and father determined the cash would go on my training – I might have spent the entire cash on sweets in any other case. I had a lot enjoyable taking part in the half – we filmed in Spain and South Africa.

They constructed a Wild West set in South Africa – I used to be in a cowboy outfit – however the day earlier than we began filming, it poured with rain and the set fell down.

Simon Desborough

Earnings from the adverts helped pay for Simon’s non-public training

It might have been overwhelming, however whenever you’re a baby, you simply take it as regular. It is when all of it stops that life will get more durable.

Some folks at college had been imply and I needed to stick up for myself. I did numerous drama and went on to check music in school. I made a decision to hold on working in music and TV, however discovering that degree of success once more is tough.

I’m a jobbing musician. Cash is tight and I am residing with my mother and father, making an attempt to make it within the music business.

The cash was good on the time, nevertheless it’s all gone – the royalties I’ve simply acquired from the brand new advert have been spent on musical gear. I might have been a banker or a lawyer, as lots of my mates from non-public faculty have change into, and my girlfriend is a solicitor. However, as an alternative, I am nonetheless on the route into showbiz.

Gareth Watchman is pursuing a career in showjumping

Gareth Watchman is pursuing a profession in showjumping


Gareth, 20, is an expert showjumper. He lives in Sedgefield, County Durham, together with his mother and father, who run stables. He says:

‘I would a lot slightly be on a horse than in entrance of a digicam – that world actually was not for me. I am a lot happier travelling the nation showjumping than I ever can be in a movie studio.

Being the Milkybar Child was enjoyable and offered me with the cash to purchase two top-class horses, however I am now not .

My grandmother utilized for the audition for me after seeing an advert on a Milkybar wrapper. I used to be cute as a baby, with a giant tacky grin. On the audition, I simply messed round, however they appeared taken with me and I used to be invited to a second audition in London.

I appeared with two little Scotty canines, and I used to be in ‘the nice, the dangerous and the opposite’ advert. We filmed the primary advert in Spain, in the identical place the place Clint Eastwood had made a movie.

Gareth Watchman

Gareth says he was teased so much at college due to his position within the Milkybar adverts

I used to journey about in a limo opening retailers and warehouses, and showing at youngsters’s events. You are feeling like such a star. It’s a bit flat when all of it ends.

I used to take weekend performing courses, and I used to be approached to be in a Catherine Cookson movie, however I used to be dyslexic and had hassle studying traces.

I made a decision I might be higher giving it up, and I used to be a lot happier. I bought lots of teasing at college, however I can arise for myself. Now it is only a chortle.

WILLIAM RAY, 2007-2009

The newest Milkybar Child is William, 14. He lives close to Milton Keynes, Bucks, together with his mother and father, Mandy, 51, and Tim, 47, who each work in visible merchandising, and his brother, Charlie, 17. William says:

‘This has been my first business and I used to be so thrilled to get it. I would joined an performing company, which my brother had been with.

I used to be requested to audition after they noticed my {photograph}, however I used to be away and missed it.

Then they requested me once more, I bought right down to the final two and was actually shocked after they advised me I had the position.

Present Milkybar Child William Ray, 14, says his mother and father are investing the revenue from the adverts for his future

The toughest factor for me was driving a horse, which I wanted to do as The Child – I had just a few classes earlier than the audition and I picked it up rapidly.

It was nice enjoyable, however I’m not satisfied I need to be an actor.

I really like sport and taking part in soccer, and I’ve had numerous teasing about being the Milkybar Child.

Mum and Dad are decided they are going to hold my toes on the bottom.

The cash I’ve earned from the commercials – my mother and father have not advised me precisely how a lot it’s – is being invested for my future.

Let’s simply say I nonetheless need to do a paper spherical to earn pocket cash. 

Watch the basic 1977 Milkybar ‘robotic’ advert right here…

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