• Hopeful cats formed orderly queue outside famous Pineapple Studios to audition
  • UK’s Happiest Cat will become the face of the next advert for O2 Refresh – the ground-breaking tariff
  • Judging panel includes celebrity cat lover Sarah Harding

In an industry first, O2 has held a ‘cat casting’ session to find the UK’s happiest cat to star in the next billboard advert for O2 Refresh, O2’s ground-breaking Pay Monthly tariff.

The group of cheerful cats were shortlisted after their owners submitted pictures of their cats’ smiling faces through social media, beating more than 140 hopeful entries. The feel-good felines and their proud owners formed an orderly queue outside Pineapple Studios in Central London, where stars throughout West End history have been cast for famous lead roles for shows such as Cats, Wicked and Mamma Mia!, as they waited to be called in to audition for the coveted role.

The cat who wins the title of ‘UK’s happiest cat’ will be starring in the next stage of O2’s £8m O2 Refresh advertising campaign, following in the paw prints of O2’s iconic cat who has delighted audiences for more than two years as he learned to embrace his inner dog.

The winner will be revealed on 21 May, alongside their advertising debut. They will become the new face of O2 Refresh, O2’s revolutionary tariff which transforms the way people buy mobile phones by separating the cost of their phone from the cost of their minutes, texts and data. They will also win a year’s supply of cat food.

The judging panel was headed up by celebrity cat lover Sarah Harding, industry-renowned cat agent and expert, Charlotte Wilde and O2’s Head of Creative Kat Ward-Smith who were all looking for the cat with the brightest and happiest smile.

The panel were also carefully judging each cat on how bright their eyes were, how soft their fur was, the length of their whiskers, their temperament and personality.

Sarah Harding said ‘I was delighted to be asked by O2 to be on the panel. I am a huge cat-lover and am often posting pictures of my Persian cat, Marley, on Instagram and Twitter – he’s a huge part of my life. Today, we have seen some incredibly smiley cats from all over the country and I can’t wait to see the winning cat up on a billboard in London, what a great opportunity!’

Kat Ward-Smith, Head of Creative at O2, was also part of the judging panel. ‘We’re looking for the cat with the biggest smile that can perfectly mirror the feeling O2 Refresh gives our customers. Every day, people up and down the country are adopting Cheshire Cat grins as they discover that their bills dropped because they’ve paid off the cost of their phone – saving an average of £216 a year. So who better to be the face of this fantastic tariff than the UK’s Happiest Cat?’

To find out more about O2 Refresh, visit www.o2.co.uk/refresh.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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