John Lewis Christmas ad kids now from Hollywood acting to stage productions

The new John Lewis Christmas advert has been released, meaning that it's basically 25 December now. This year's centres around a young boy who wants to grow his own Christmas tree- but not everything is as it seems.

The tree turns out to be a mischievous Venus flytrap which causes chaos for the family. Viewers will see how the boy lovingly nurtures the plant from a seed bought at a local market, in the belief he is cultivating a perfect Christmas tree.

The fast-growing plant becomes an equally big personality who wants to join in all the fun of Christmas, before the inevitable tear-jerking moment when he is cast out into the cold to make way for a traditional tree.

However, the boy is determined for Snapper to have a place in the celebrations, which soon sees him back in the fold, as the ad ends with the strapline "Let your traditions grow."

The release of the new advert has got us in a reflective mood so we've decided to look at where the other stars of the adverts are now…

The Long Wait – 2011

It was one of the very first Christmas adverts to hit us right in the heart- and paved the way for other emotional offerings.

In the advert, a little boy waited for the countdown to Christmas to finish so that he could give his parents his gift for them.

It was a real tearjerker, with a soundtrack by Slow Moving Millie, who covered Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths for the ad.

Lewis McGowan, from Hamilton, Scotland, got the part after being up against 250 other children. After the advert, he was in Doctor Who and Houdini and Doyle.

He was even in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film Dead Men Tell No Tales in 2017, playing a 12-year-old Henry Turner, the son of Orlando Bloom's character. In 2018, he was in the TV series The Alienist and was also in a short film called The Fall.

Monty the Penguin – 2014

In the 2014 advert, Monty had a sweet relationship with a little boy. However, there was one thing missing in his life- true love.

Monty ended up being an imaginary friend for the boy but under the tree was a female penguin, which meant he could find his happy ending.

A cover by Tom Odell of John Lennon's Real Love was the soundtrack to the advert. The boy in the advert, Rhys Edwards, was given £2,500 for his starring role in the advert.

He said at the time: “I’m the king of Christmas adverts! I’d really like to be in the John Lewis Christmas advert every year from now on. I do miss everyone from John Lewis.”

Rhys had begun his acting career at age five, working with the talent agency Daisy & Dukes, previously appearing in DFS and McDonald's adverts at Christmas. He was also in a Christmas special episode of Call The Midwife.

Man On The Moon – 2015

During the Man On The Moon advert, a little girl communicated with a man who lived on the moon. The lonely old man was watched through a telescope each night by her.

She eventually sent him a telescope on an air balloon to allow him to see earth, while Aurora's cover of Half The World Away played.

The advert strapline was "Show someone they're loved this Christmas." It reportedly cost £7 million to film and the Man On The Moon, Jean Masini, enjoyed huge success as a result of the advert.

Orli Star Knill-Goldstein, who played the little girl, had also been in Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children. After the advert, she was invited to director Tim Burton's home- and she got some opportunities to audition for big roles.

Her dad Trevor Goldstein, an actor, said: "The advert did get her in a position where she got some big auditions – massive stuff.

"She loved it. She has never been fazed by the attention. Kids at her school would come up and say, ‘Were you in the advert?’ and she would say, ‘Yes’, and walk off. She doesn’t watch the ad. She loves the filming and that’s it. She doesn’t seem to have any interest in becoming famous."

Moz the Monster – 2017

John Lewis's 2017 offering was a boy who was very scared of the dark. The soundtrack for the advert was an Elbow cover of the Beatles track Golden Slumbers.

The boy found a monster living under his bed and he befriended him and used to play with him at night so he'd be very tired during the day.

John Lewis had a set of twins playing the role, Ethan and Tobias, even though only one of them had auditioned. The creators decided that they wanted them both in it when they found out they were twins.

An Unexpected Guest – 2021

One of the more current adverts is the 2021 one, which saw a boy called Nathan having a starring role. He saw an object fall from the sky while he was on a bus.

He got off the bus and curiously ran towards the object, ending up in a forest, spotting a spaceship and an alien called Skye.

Skye befriends Nathan, who then runs off to show her his Christmas jumper and introduces her to other important parts of Christmas like trees, mince pies and lights.

When Skye's about to leave, she gets Nathan's jumper and kisses him goodbye and then heads home on the spaceship, as Together In Electric Dreams plays in the background.

Both actors in the advert have been in a series of shows and films. Raffiella Chapman, who played Skye, played Claire Densmore in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

She's also been in Homebound and His Dark Materials, as well as the film Infinite and recently she played the lead role of Vesper in Vesper Seeds.

Jordan Nash, who played Nathan, starred as Peter Pan in the drama Come Away and has also been in Call The Midwife as the character Terry.

The Beginner – 2022

A man was learning to skate in last year's advert but kept tripping and falling over. He ended up being taught to skate by his adopted daughter Ellie, who had a passion for it.

It was an advert campaign in partnership with Action for Children and Who Cares Scotland in a bid to raise awareness of care and care experienced children.

The dad in the advert, played by John Paul Hurley, has also been in The Reckoning, The Lost King and Peaky Blinders. He's also made a foray into comedy, writing Eccelsiastical Supplies staged in Glasgow in 2015.

Brooke Hart, who played Ellie, has been in a number of films and theatre productions including the National Theatre production of Love, in which she played Paige.

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