But ditching the grubby urchin for Victoria Pendleton, sporting legend and The Loveliest Woman In England, was the best thing in sliced bread since, well, sliced bread.
Having previously dressed her as Audrey Hepburn, Hovis has the pedal-pushing princess back on the cycle track (and the kitchen) for its new ad. There's something about the way she says the word "discipline" that most guys will find hard to ignore.
A bit ambitiously, Hovis implies us mortals could look like Victoria if we ate banana on toast for breakfast. If only.
"It helps me stop snacking," she reckons. "Just as well when you wear Lycra for a living."
Ah yes. Sadly Vicky is headed for the knacker's yard in cycling terms, with London 2012 surely her last hurrah. Great minds are working on how best to keep The Pins in Lycra.
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