Melanie Sykes reprises role from 21 years ago - but not all is as it seems

Boddingtons Bitter has been relaunched with a cycling-themed ad – but not all is at it seems.

The spot, called Tour de Formby, features a cyclist preparing for a ride with an American accented-voiceover saying phrases such as “Take the pain … take the punishment … take the road less hilly …”

It then cuts back to reveal he is riding a rickshaw with Melanie Sykes, star of the beer’s 1990s ads, sitting in the back seat.

“Eh Bradders – giddy up lad, I’m spitting feathers ‘ere,” she says, before being seen quaffing a pint with the words, “It’s still gorgeous.”

Sykes shot to fame as a result of that campaign, with the last ad appearing 21 years ago, back when Boddingtons was still brewed at the Strangeways Brewery in Manchester, which closed in 2004.

And if you think the landscape is as northern as Sykes’s accent, think again –’s VecchioJo has identified the climb as Firle Beacon on the South Downs near Lewes.

Boddingtons UK marketing manager Aina Fuller, quoted in The Drum, said: “It’s been fantastic to reunite the old dream team of Mel, Danny and Boddingtons.

“We wanted to create something which captures the magic each team member naturally brings, with that cheeky humour that Boddingtons is known and loved for.”

Sykes said: “Shooting the new ad with Danny and Boddies was so much fun.

“It brought back really fond memories from working on the original ads, which I know hold a lot of nostalgia not just for me but for many people,” she added.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.