Gorbachev is latest star in Pizza Hut TV ad

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The Independent Online
Politics is an unforgiving game. One day you are changing history, overseeing the end of the Cold War, bringing down the Berlin Wall and getting to keep the nuclear button by your bed. Next thing you know you're lining up with the likes of Pamela Anderson and Gareth Southgate to appear in a fast-food commercial.

In a move that probably has implications for deposed statesmen the world over, Mikhail Gorbachev, has agreed to endorse Pizza Hut.

A television commercial was filmed in secret in a Moscow Pizza Hut this weekend and will appear on screens worldwide in January. In it, the old leader of the USSR speaks English and is accompanied by his granddaughter Anastasia. The final story line, which is being kept under wraps, is said to be light hearted. Jokes about Russia's former president's birthmark are understood to have been proposed but were ruled out, so look out for some gulag gags.

The six-figure fee for the endorsement will go to providing a permanent home for the old communist's Perestroika Library and Archive. Pizza Hut will not say how much Mr Gorbachev will receive for the advert, but it is understood that he came in more expensive than Pamela Anderson who is rumoured to have been paid pounds 150,000 for her 30-second of screen time.

Gorbachev is just one of a series of celebrities to appear for Pizza Hut, which has used Damon Hill and Murray Walker, the model Caprice and Jonathan Ross, Beverley Hill 90210 star Luke Perry and has just signed up Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit. Given the Gorbachev precedent, will advertising agencies now recruit the likes of Baby Doc Duvalier for a Bacardi advert and Ronald Reagan to promote improve-your-memory tapes?