Whitebread in the Onida advertisement (right) David Whitebread now takes up styling and choreography projects and lives in Conoor
He entered our homes with a swagger, swathed in green with two horns on his head. And David Whitebread became one of the most recognisable faces on television in the 90s, as the Onida devil.
It was a role he played for 14 years and one that thrust him into the limelight like he never wanted. "It took me three months to agree to take up role. I was paid `6,000 for it. At that time, it was three months' salary. I did it as a joke, and never thought it would come out in the first place. Mickey Contractor did my make-up and we shot it at Mehboob Studios. I didn't tell a soul about it," he says. Then, a couple of months later, he saw his face plastered across a full newspaper page; six months later his identity was out.
"It did make life difficult for me since I wasn't used to being in the public eye. People would point at me, and stare or stop me for an autograph or tell me that they bought a TV only because of me. I've received varied reactions over the years; now people introduce me to their children as the devil!"
These days, in his words, he is semi-retired. "I assist Prasad Bidapa in styling and choreography. I also do choreography for a few old clients." Five years back, he moved to Coonoor, where his parents had settled, and now lives there with his sister. "I studied in Ooty so the hills are familiar to me. I like the lifestyle here."
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