Robert De Niro

De Niro will succeed Peter Kay as the celebrity face of Warburtons

Two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro will make his British TV advert debut for Warburtons next Easter, The Grocer can reveal.

The Manhattan-born method actor filmed his role this week in the UK, following a flurry of national news coverage about his partnership with the bakery giant.

While the filming location was a closely guarded secret, it was most likely in the north west: Warburtons has its HQ in Bolton, while the BBC reported De Niro had dined on Monday in a Halifax restaurant.

The details of next spring’s ad are also unknown – but it will probably feature Warburtons’ forthcoming New York-style bagels. They will arrive in the spring to sit alongside the brand’s existing Thin Bagels, while taking on the likes of New York Bakery Co in an effort to revive the sandwich alternatives market in grocery.

Brands in the sub-category suffered a 4.2% fall in take-home value sales last year, as volumes dropped 6.1% – though success for own-label pushed sandwich alternatives as a whole just into the black [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 31 December 2017].

De Niro’s ad for Warburtons will be just the latest in a series of entertainment heavyweights appearing for the bakery giant. The A-list lineup began three years ago with Sylvester Stallone leading ‘The Deliverers’, a pastiche of action blockbusters.

It was followed in 2016 by The Muppets promoting Giant Crumpets with a special version of their theme song. Last year saw Bolton’s Peter Kay star in Jane Austen spoof ‘Pride & Breadjudice’. Each big-budget commercial also featured Warburtons chairman Jonathan Warburton.