Who remembers Mr Benn, the bowler-hatted gent who used to pop into a fancy dress shop and emerge in a costume that led to an adventure?  If you’re of a certain age, you’ll have many happy memories of the cartoon character. The shopkeeper wore a fez, glasses and a bow tie, an interesting choice in itself and while it was never clear what the fancy dress shopkeeper got paid for his costumes, he certainly had a regular costume clientele! Which makes it interesting that an insurance company Equine & Livestock, is resurrecting the character to star in their commercials.


There’s a certain sense to their choice, as Mr Benn used to get into a lot of difficulties when he walked out of the fancy dress emporium into a world that fitted with the costume he’d chosen and from which he used to be rescued by the shopkeeper appearing to repossess his costume - that’s something like an insurance we suppose. It certainly makes more sense than  having Top Cat advertise mortgages as the Halifax does - after all, Top Cat lives in a dustbin!


But enthusiasm for dressing up is deep in the British psyche and the basic idea that we can change our lives by putting on a costume is one that appeals to us all, otherwise why would we have not just fancy dress parties but fancy dress charity runs, pub crawls, carnivals and fetes to encourage us to explore this part of our nature that responds to the concept of changing our personalities or lives by putting on a costume that allows us to enjoy ourselves without any limitations.