John Lewis Christmas Advert: Helen Mirren Lends Her Voice To The Lonely Elderly

20/11/2015 14:52 GMT | Updated 20/11/2015 14:59 GMT

John Lewis' Christmas advert told the story of an old man on the Moon, casting his eye down at the world below and connecting unexpectedly with a young girl using a telescope.

Now though, a fresh take on the original advert strips back the gloss, emphasising the crushing loneliness experienced by many older people over the festive season.

Age UK which partnered with John Lewis on the original has released its own poignant version of the advert.

man on moon

The lonely man on the Moon pictured in the Age UK ad

The charity's take shows the man on the Moon ambling across the desolate landscape before revealing it to be a set on a studio sound stage, before leaving him alone as the building's lights are switched off.

A voiceover by actor Helen Mirren talks over the scene, highlighting the plight of those left alone over Christmas.

She says: "It's hard to believe that a million older people can go a month without speaking to anybody.

man on the moond

The camera pans to reveal the studio set

"It doesn't have to be this way."

In the ad, the young girl Lily is played by a six-year-old named only as Orli and Man on the Moon is performed by 77-year-old French stage actor Jean.

A fundraising effort will be launched on 20th November to raise money to keep older people company this Christmas and Age UK has developed tips and advice for those wanting to run their own fundraising events on its website.

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