HUSBAND and wife Neal and Jo Scrivener happily admit they are Gloucester Rugby mad – but they never expected their passion for everything Cherry and White would land them a regular slot on TV.
But the pair achieved exactly that after they were selected to appear in a new series of adverts on ITV and ITV4.
The couple, of Grosvenor Road, initially sent a poem to Premiership rugby sponsors Aviva in response to a message seeking the country’s most passionate fans.
The diehard duo wowed producers at Aviva with their dedication after being filmed during Gloucester’s 32-30 defeat to London Wasps in November.
And after sifting through hours of footage, the pair got the call to represent their club in the adverts, which will wrap around the Aviva Premiership Rugby highlights show on ITV.
Two of Gloucester’s biggest fans, they ride to each game at Kingsholm on their very own cherry and white tandem bike – which served as their carriage for their wedding in March 2012.
And Jo, a teacher at Kingsholm Primary School, has a specially designed ‘Shed’ in her classroom in tribute to her club’s famous terrace.
“To apply to be a passionate fan for the Aviva competition you had to say why you were so dedicated,” said Jo, 43.
“I thought of a poem at about 4am which started along the lines of ‘We have a bike, in Cherry and White’. I talked about how our bike was integral to our wedding and how passionate we are about Kingsholm, but I did fall down the stairs trying to find some paper and pen to write it down.
“I’ve been in a pantomime play recently and after this that was about as far-flung as I want to go into the limelight. Gloucester matters to me because it’s the heart of the city, lots of people that have not been brought up here recognise the importance of the community and that’s perhaps what sets it apart.”
Neal, 46, said being a TV star is hard work – though does not expect to be stopped on the streets of Gloucester for his autograph.
“I didn’t realise there was quite so much to it to be honest,” said Neal, a business development manager. “I thought we’d come down, ride the bike around, take a few shots, say ‘thanks very much’ and off we go.
“And I’m amazed that three or four hours of filming can produce 25 seconds, but I feel like I’ve done Gloucester proud, I wouldn’t wear make-up for anybody else.
“It’s a large part of our life and it’s very miserable if we lose – I don’t get spoken to on a Saturday evening.
“I think we’ll manage with the fame, signatures aren’t really my thing but who knows, it might take place.”
Louisa Cheetham, senior sponsorship manager at Aviva, said: “I think what’s been absolutely fantastic is we’ve seen the passion of all the fans, from an 82-year-old Leicester Tigers supporters to a pair of eight-year-olds who love Exeter Chiefs.”