Bright, white and no longer right

Peter York on the demise of the Daz Doorstep Challenge

Him off the telly. At my door. Asking to see my whites. It's you I said. Well it was and it wasn't, he was much smaller/ older/more miserable than he seems on TV. But it was a laugh and I got £20/£200/ £2,000. Mind you I had to say my bit 25 times. Louder, softer. Move to the right, give us a smile, look at Pete/Alan/ Danny/Julian/Shane. And look at the Daz packet.

Him off the telly. At my door. Asking to see my whites. It's you I said. Well it was and it wasn't, he was much smaller/ older/more miserable than he seems on TV. But it was a laugh and I got £20/£200/ £2,000. Mind you I had to say my bit 25 times. Louder, softer. Move to the right, give us a smile, look at Pete/Alan/ Danny/Julian/Shane. And look at the Daz packet.

The Daz Doorstep Challenge, axed last week, has been a beacon of traditional values since God was a boy.

The DDC was always below-stairsish. The ladies who took the challenge were dead ordinary, giggly, a bit flirty, but profoundly decent. And until very recently they were always housewives. They had to be at home, waiting for Shane or Danny to knock (in my mind's eye that door's always right on the street in an archaic back-to-back way). And they were mums. "My little boy's a terror." "My little girl's a tomboy." Their husbands did heroes-of-labour jobs and got their clothes tremendously dirty. Single mums, multiple steps, dual income no kids or two gentlemen sharing had no hope in the Daz world. Like Oxo, which it closely paralleled, Daz celebrated the traditional family.

"Doing Daz" was central to the CVs of a mass of all-round entertainers. Men of the people who were a bit of a laugh, had the common touch, were a bit flirty in a sexless, On the Buses, cheeky chappy way. When Daz slightly flexed the format in the Nineties they got the gays in. Michael Barrymore after he was out, Julian Clary toning it down with lady footballers. And they shot the commercials in public places instead of at the front door.

But the formula remained iron-clad and hard-sell. The demonstration of wonder- ful whiteness, the comparison with lesser brands, the choice of Daz over two packets of anything else. Like its owner, Procter and Gamble of Cincinnati, Ohio, there was never anything ironic about Daz. P&G was always the home of the advertising formula that worked, the Fifties way.

They're having to change now to acknowledge celebrity world and Big Brother world and slapper world. And Footballers' Wives. The world of the new soap stars who go to C-list parties. So, of course, they're going to do a spoof format "Cleaner Close", with elements of EastEnders and Brookside. Still spot-on for Daz values, working-class and ungentrified but updated to allow for big bungalows and sex romps on World of Leather sofas.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager (EMEA) - City, London

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine