The John Lewis Christmas advert has become as much a part of the festive season as a visit to the German markets or a tray full of warm mince pies.
Always accompanied by a breathy, acoustic version of a classic pop song, I’m not ashamed to admit that the John Lewis ad always gives me a tinselly fizz of festive excitement.
At their best, a John Lewis ad gives us a warm chuckle and a little rush of emotion. And this year – which has brought us the adorable Excitable Edgar – has been an absolute delight. Lewis has also appeared in various TV shows, including Doctor Who, The Alienist and Houdini and Doyle.
Lewis, who is originally from Hamilton, near Glasgow, was picked out of a group of 250 other children to star in the now iconic John Lewis advert, filmed over the course of five days in London.
It trended on Twitter within hours of its launch, received 420,000 views on Youtube and left celebrities including Phillip Schofield and Cat Deeley in tears.
For many disbelieving parents, however, the child’s altruism stretched credibility and bore little resemblence to their own children. “Emotionally manipulative adverts plaguing the telly,” wrote one. “Must be Christmas”
But yesterday the parents of Lewis McGowan, the seven-year-old star of the advert from Hamilton near Glasgow, insisted their son is exactly like his on-screen character.
Last year he asked Father Christmas for a teacup for his mother and “the best Christmas ever”. This year he wants an iPod to give to his brother.