Raoul from classic Irn-Bru adverts says A-lister inspired his legendary character

In the noughties, ­perma-tanned Raoul tried desperately to attract Diet Irn-Bru drinking ladies with his slick moves.

But despite his impressive six-pack and gleaming white teeth, it always ended in disaster.

In one of the classic adverts, the Latin wannabe lover invited two young women who were sunbathing and minding their own business to come over to his place and make a sandwich.

He then climbed a high diving board in his red budgie smugglers. This stunt gave birth to his most famous catch phrase: “Yoohoo laydees – look at Raoul bouncing up and down.”

In the other ad, set in a nightclub, Raoul’s hip-hugging silver trousers burst open on the dance floor, leaving him doing the splits in a leopard-print thong.

The actor got the part by channelling Zorro star Antonio Banderas

Now the 44-year-old actor, who has no Latin blood and comes from Cape Town, reveals that he got the part by channelling Zorro star Antonio Banderas, reports Glasgow Live.

Gary Naidoo – that’s his real name – said: “The audition request for a role as a Spanish lothario was sent to me and I thought that this one was right up my alley.

“So I rented any movie I could find featuring Antonio Banderas and worked on the few lines mimicking his accent as closely as I could. On the day of the audition, I doused myself with about half a bottle of baby oil and entered the casting.”

Despite throwing all the fake Latin charm he could muster at the part, Gary was not the advertising agency’s first choice.

Then the Spanish actor who had got the job arrived on location for the shoot and saw that he was meant to show off on a high diving board then get tangled up in his swimming trunks and plunge, naked, into the pool below.

He left the set and flew straight back home. Gary was made of sterner stuff. He said: “I was contacted and didn’t hesitate to say yes, not even knowing what the stunt was to begin with. It was the best blind decision I’ve ever made.”

The location for the first ad, made in 2005, looks like a fancy beach resort. In fact it was filmed at a convent in South Africa, where Gary had a great time showing off his oiled abs to the sisters.

He recalled: “It was hands down one of the best experiences of my life. It was quite hilarious having to prance around in a skimpy Speedo while a few nuns had a chuckle.”

After filming the first commercial, Gary carried on with life as an actor, singer and performer in his home town, not realising that the ad made him an overnight legend in Scotland.

Gary said: “Never would I have believed that it would gain such popularity and that a second ad would bring me all the way to Scotland. What a ride.”

Gary shot the second ad in 2006 in a nightclub, where he promises two underwhelmed young women that he will dance “like panther”.

Of course, it all goes humiliatingly wrong and he ends up on the deck covering his modesty. Then AG Barr, the company that makes Diet Irn-Bru, brought him over on a promotional tour.

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These days Gary is busy performing and producing his own shows and albums in Cape Town. But he is thrilled that Scots have such fond memories of Raoul and would be back in his red Speedos in a second.

He said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if people still recalled the ads – they were just as memorable for me.”


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