It’s sad news for mums. Heart-throb Captain Birdseye is being retired (briefly) from front and centre of the brand’s fish finger packaging, to be replaced with a child’s face.

Birds Eye’s switch to a dreamy captain in 2018 came in sharp contrast to years of Father Christmas types, and he has been a huge hit for the brand. With a salt-and-pepper beard the captain, played by Italian-born actor and seafarer Riccardo Acerbi, looks more suited to a perfume ad than pushing plaice. And indeed, Birds Eye went on to launch a Captain Birdseye aftershave and calendar, with Acerbi the face of the campaign.

The bearded beefcake has been the latest in a series of hunks employed to shamelessly market to women, following in the footsteps of Anthony Head’s Gold Blend lothario back in the late 1980s, to Matt Le Blanc of Friends fame flogging Heinz, to a series of chiselled workmen rescuing damsels in return for a Diet Coke.

So a step back by Captain Birdseye creates a gap in the market for another fmcg advertising dreamboat, and there is only one candidate this festive season: Farmer Christmas, from the current Morrisons Christmas advertising campaign.

He has a similar rugged charm to Captain Birdseye, but with the addition of a slight dad bod, something many can relate to post-pandemic.

Add to that a couple of years of food insecurity, panic-buying, rocketing prices and shortages caused by Brexit and a scarcity of CO2, and a man who can grow his own produce could have a queue of people lining up to perch on his knee.

Ad execs have been working with the mantra that ‘sex sells’ for years, but in a world of increasing sensitivity to oversexualisation, Farmer Christmas is a welcome update, proving that in this day and age ‘compassion is key’. The major mults’ Christmas campaigns are full of the stuff, from Aldi’s Ebanana Scrooge and his discovery of Christmas giving in the form of millions of free meals, to John Lewis’s acceptance of strangers.

But the Morrisons message is best: support British farmers. They’re handsome, rugged, salt of the earth, and sexy.