90’s ad for Yellow Pages featuring the famous JR Hartley.
The JR Hartley character appeared in television advertisements for British commercial telephone directory company Yellow Pages, first shown in 1983. The character was played by the actor Norman Lumsden.
The advertisement shows an elderly man going into several bookshops asking for a book called Fly Fishing by an author named ‘J. R. Hartley’. Every attempt fails, and the next scene shows him at home looking dejected. His daughter, sympathising, hands him a copy of the Yellow Pages, and the next scene features him looking delighted as a bookshop replies that they have a copy of the book. He asks them to keep it for him, and they ask for his name. He replies, ‘My name? Oh, yes, it’s J. R. Hartley.’
The advertisement is one of the most popular ever made in Britain, and remained a part of popular culture long after it ceased to be shown. The advertisement was affectionately parodied many times in the 1980s, by comedians such as Jasper Carrott and Mel Smith & Griff Rhys Jones. When Lumsden died on 28 November 2001 at the age of 95, despite his numerous other roles and distinguished career as an opera singer, the death of the man who played J. R. Hartley was the national headlines, and the advertisement was broadcast again in his memory, nearly 20 years after its first appearance.
Info taken from Wikipedia