John Cleese plays death in a series of TV ads created by Wilmslow’s Oakbase for Avalon Funeral Plans.

In the 40-second adverts the 77-year-old hangs up his scythe and makes a cup of tea while asking the audience when they are planning to die and what they have done about it.

The ads will feature on all major TV channels, including ITV and Sky, for a six-week period and are part of a £300,000 campaign.

Avalon Head of Marketing Chris Millington said: “We wanted a campaign that had a high impact and didn’t follow the industry norm and Oakbase have more than delivered that.

“It’s a tough topic to talk about and the humour works to get people to consider their mortality without being sentimental or too emotional. John Cleese was our first choice as he is someone who our audience will relate too and will listen to.”

North-West based Oakbase works for brands including Meyer, TJ Hughes, Lakeland, Shell and Michelin and says creates campaigns that “incorporate northern nous to increase clients’ bottom-line”.

CEO Nick Bradshaw said: “The campaign promises to disrupt the marketplace which tends to shy away from actually talking about death whereas we’re tackling it head on.

“The creative works throughout all the marketing from press to all aspects of online, PR and social media.”