Wife pranks Arundel horserider in Michael McIntyre comedy grand surprise

Ellen and Marvin Ford with horse Drummer. Picture: Steve Robards
Ellen and Marvin Ford with horse Drummer. Picture: Steve Robards

An Arundel singer got a shock when the TV advert he thought he was shooting turned out to be a BBC comedy show with Michael McIntyre – and his wife organised the whole thing!

Ellen Ford, who lives in Ford Road, said: “My husband is a phenomenal singer. He gets everybody up dancing and they love him.

“He’s an amazing person and he just oozes charisma but he doesn’t know it.”

Ellen had been wondering how to get her horserider husband Marvin to believe in himself more, when the idea hit her.

She decided to put him forward for the surprise of his life – the ‘unexpected star of the show’ on Michael McIntyre’s Big Show on the BBC.

Originally from Bermuda, 44-year-old Marvin is no stranger to the limelight.

He has been singing since he was five years old and performs at weddings.

But for the big surprise to work Ellen had to keep the secret from him for months.

Ellen, who runs The Enchanted Florist in Angmering, said: “There was a lot of conversation between me and the production team which Marvin was completely oblivious to.

“We got into London under the ruse that he was going to be an extra for an advert.”

Marvin was taken to a fake studio where he thought he would be filming the commercial as a body double for an actor who was afraid of horses.

Ellen admitted being a little nervous about how he would react when the walls came down and Marvin realised he was on a large BBC comedy show.

She said: “I knew there was never going to be any problem with the stage part, it was the prank part that I was most terrified about.”

But Marvin rose to the challenge, putting on a ‘phenomenal’ singing performance, Ellen said.

“In true Marvin style he was more concerned about the horse than anything else.

“It did get very very emotional.

“He also had his daughter there who he hadn’t seen for over a year.”

After performing on stage Marvin spoke to host Michael McIntyre about the whole ruse and reveal.

Looking back on the experience, Marvin said: “It was a big surprise going up to be an extra in a commercial and finding myself centre in the Theatre Royal. It was great.”

You can watch Marvin on Michael McIntyre’s Big Show on BBC One this Saturday at 8.20pm.