For a woman who was once the queen of British TV it is hardly a dream role - slumming it in an advertisement for household detergents.
For Anthea Turner, however, who was unveiled this week as the new face of Flash cleaning products, it is something to celebrate.
With her Cheshire cat grin and insufferably perky demeanour, the 48-year-old is once again bounding into the public spotlight like an overenthusiastic labrador.
Never mind that the days when she could command £1million contracts with GMTV are long gone.
Flash Anthea: Last year her husband Grant Bovey [one kid called Lily, goes back and forth between MK slaves] boasted buy-to-let would make his firm £1billion. Now, thanks to the credit crunch, he's lost it all and she is reduced to cleaning the floors (for TV ads) [Love their choice of image! From the Perfect Housewife TV show, extreme Stepford Wives vibe here! (like the Chemistry Girls Aloud cover in this post as Corbeau in comments points out)]
The woman who just ten years ago was the second highest-paid woman on the box (after Cilla Black) is to swallow her pride to poke fun at her perfect housewife image in what her representatives describe as 'a very camp, tongue-in-cheek TV campaign'.
Demeaning? You bet. But, as Anthea Turner is learning to her cost, beggars can't be choosers in these straitened times.
It comes to something when your agents are trumpeting an advertisement as evidence of your thriving career, which just goes to show how far the faded golden girl has fallen.
So why on earth is she doing it? Does she really need the money that badly? [It's never about the money]
On the face of it, you would think not. She lives in a £5million mansion set in 57 acres of prime real estate in the Surrey hills, keeps a string of horses and enjoys a lifestyle most of us can only dream of (think luxury ski chalets in the Alps and million-pound yachts in the Mediterranean).
Scratch the surface, however, and it soon becomes clear that all is not rosy in Anthea's impeccably manicured garden. And now, as so often in the past, the issues concern her entrepreneur husband Grant Bovey.
A year ago, he was chief executive of a buy-to-let property empire and boasting of increasing company turnover to an eye-watering £1billion.
The business, Imagine Homes, was being prepared for stock market flotation which would net Grant and Anthea a fortune in the process.
Today, the company is in the hands of HBOS, his former business partners who have taken over amid [organized, none of these executives are really hurting at all in any way] chaos in the property market.
The flotation scheme is dead in the water and Grant, 47, has been left without a financial stake in any part of the business while being reduced to working as a consultant.
The collapse of this dream has come as a crushing blow to the couple, who have suffered a series of setbacks since Grant walked out on his wife and three children to move in with Anthea a decade ago.
Former colleagues who met Anthea at the 50th anniversary celebrations of Blue Peter this week found her uncharacteristically subdued.
The upkeep of those 57 acres is not cheap. And with the local council ordering them to rip up their £500,000 tennis court after the couple built it without seeking planning permission, you begin to appreciate the importance of a healthy income to support such a lavish lifestyle.
They even had to cancel their annual charity summer ball - a major event which is routinely attended by the Countess of Wessex and hundreds of well-heeled celebrity and business figures - stating that it would be inappropriate to ask people to donate huge sums during a global financial crisis.
She has been feeling rather down
Meanwhile, Anthea has undergone months of physiotherapy following an accident in which her kneecap was shattered by a kicking horse. Small wonder then that she has been feeling rather down of late.
There will, of course, be those who take great pleasure in the perception that this gilded couple have fallen on hard times.
The knives have been out for Anthea ever since she sacrificed her squeaky clean image to dump her husband and agent, the much-loved showbusiness figure Peter Powell, to set up home with Grant, the husband of her friend Della Bovey. [now I'm just confused...]
They did not help themselves by selling the photographic rights to their wedding to a downmarket magazine for £250,000. (The rag then released a picture of them eating Cadbury's Snowflake bars at the reception and offered its readers a free bar - the incident became jokingly dubbed 'Flakegate'.)
Since then, however, they have worked tirelessly to build themselves up, with Grant reinventing himself as a big-hitting property developer at the helm of a huge buy-to-let company.
For a while he seemed to be doing an extraordinarily good job of it, too. While Anthea's TV career stalled (leading her to seek therapy ["therapy"], such was the depth of her gloom), he stepped into the breach and set up the successful property firm Imagine Homes.
Bovey's business model was beautiful in its simplicity, with Imagine buying properties at a discount from developers, furnishing them and selling them on to investors with guaranteed rental income.
In a relentlessly rising property market, there was no shortage of takers and within two years the company was selling a property a day, while taking a management fee of 10 per cent of the rent for two years.
He thought nothing of spending millions
Turnover climbed exponentially, peaking at £170 million, and Grant flew around the country by helicopter, snapping up entire blocks of city centre flats. Frequently accompanied by Anthea (who enthusiastically embraced the role of design consultant to the firm), he thought nothing of spending millions of pounds at a time.
Rather than rest on his laurels, Grant continued to push the firm forward, opening sales offices in Ireland, Singapore and Dubai.
It was in the midst of these golden years, while sitting on a luxury yacht moored at Cannes, that Grant made his extraordinary boast to a property journalist that he fully expected his company's turnover to reach £1 billion.
Plans for a flotation at that point stood to earn him somewhere in the region of £80 million. But then the credit crunch began to bite and his dream unravelled.
'It was a neat formula, but not that different from the get-rich-quick, buy-to-let investment clubs we've seen over the past few years,' says Doug Morrison of Property Week - the man who met Grant on his yacht in Cannes last year.
'His sort of business feeds off rising house prices. That's all his buy-to-let customers really wanted and when house prices started to fall, they disappeared. The outlook for Imagine Homes is grim.
'In truth, he was never really embraced by mainstream property developers and institutions. In their eyes, he came from nowhere, without any track record in property. There was quite a lot of scepticism towards him.' [All of them, Peter Powell, Grant, Anthea, Della are likely MK'd, handlers of MK victims are often MK'd themselves]
Nevertheless, the property game has proved lucrative for Grant and Anthea. The latest accounts available for his companies show that Grant was paid £780,000 last year.
Having remortgaged the family home in 2006, he also spent just over £2million to buy five buy-to-let properties from Imagine Homes (he cannot be accused of failing to put his money where his mouth is).
Meanwhile, Anthea has fared even better in her role as a design consultant. Accounts reveal that Imagine Furnishings paid her £1.2 million in 2007 and £900,000 the previous year. Not bad considering that, according to Grant, her job consists of 'choosing the sofas'.
And the couple also know how to spend their money. Besides their tennis court, they also submitted a failed planning application to build a treehouse in the grounds, complete with spiral staircase ('It looks like the Wicked Witch of the West might well live there,' sniffed local councillor Carole King). They also have a £5 million chateau in Megeve in the French Alps and a £1 million yacht in the Mediterranean.
All of which goes some way towards explaining why recent developments have piled the pressure back on Anthea to ensure that the money keeps rolling in.
This week, Imagine declined to discuss Grant's current role in the business.
indeed, requests for a statement were met with what can only be described as blind panic. Despite this, I have established from senior sources within the organisation that the business is entirely in the hands of HBOS's corporate division.
Grant, for his part, is working as a consultant for the Dubai arm of Imagine Homes, which has not been hit quite as badly by the global financial crisis.
According to Doug Morrison and other industry experts, however, the company is 'effectively dead in the water' because of its dependence on rising property prices. As such, the likelihood of Grant earning significant sums remains slim. Hence, Anthea's renewed quest to revive her stalling career.
Besides the Flash advert, her representatives speak obliquely of several TV shows in the pipeline, but details are sketchy. 'There are a number of projects in development,' says Anthea's agent Michael Joyce.
'She has a new book out called Perfect Christmas and she's going to be signing copies in the Bluewater shopping centre soon.
'We're also in discussion with TV production companies about a number of ideas and she's got her own range of homeware coming out with one of the major High Street retailers, though I can't tell you which one because it hasn't been finalised yet.'
Quite who would want to buy an Anthea Turner frying pan remains to be seen. Nevertheless, it shows an extraordinary level of fortitude that she should continue to push herself into the public eye in this way.
Her personal website is almost desperate in tone as it touts her around to companies who might feel they would benefit from her presence for an hour or two, to 'bring her unique, high-profile brand to the corporate sector, adding value and impact to any enterprise's event activities', as she puts it. She even has her own brochure. [they are excessively mean for a reason]
It is tacky sales tactics such as these which reinforce the view of many in the TV industry that the decline in her career can be traced back to the break-up of her marriage to Peter Powell. Not just because of the ensuing scandal, but because he had guided her career so astutely.
When they split up, she lost not only the love of a dear husband (who she then betrayed in her autobiography by dismissing their marriage as a 'loveless sham'), but the wise counsel of a savvy manager.
First husband: When Anthea dumped Peter Powell she lost a dear husband and the counsel of a savvy mananger [sure, look at his checkerboard thing below I found here]
And Grant has been criticised for actively encouraging his wife in some of her more foolish exploits, such as when she was photographed naked in a field with only strawberries to protect her modesty.
Given his track record in business, however, he is surely grateful for the income his ever industrious wife continues to bring in through her myriad endeavours.
Before moving into property development five years ago, his CV consisted of a series of business failings dating back to the Nineties. [all these things are just covers/meaningless theatre]
Indeed, when his Manchester-based company Northstar Multi-media went bust with debts of £128,000 (the fourth of his businesses to end up broke owing creditors money), the Department of Trade and Industry took legal action to ban him from future directorships.
The case against him was eventually dropped, enabling him to embark on his Imagine adventure. Now, however, that dream has turned sour, too.
But all is not lost. Despite widespread scorn, his wife's most recent TV series, Anthea Turner: The Perfect Housewife [Stepford Wife], has attracted something of a cult following and there is talk of it being revived by UKTV.
More TV offers have gradually materialised in recent months. An appearance on ITV's daytime discussion show Loose Women has been mooted, while she was even sounded out about the prospect of returning on an occasional basis to GMTV following Fiona Phillips's announcement that she would be leaving the show.
For the woman famously derided by Eamonn Holmes, her one-time fellow host on the breakfast show, as 'Princess Tippy Toes' and 'a complete bully', that would be a comeback worthy of Lazarus.
Unlikely? Perhaps. But the incredible resilience of Britain's most irritating couple means that one thing is certain. Despite all their troubles, we have not seen the last of them, no matter how much we might wish that was the case. [nice]
Below one reminded me of a butterfly, above obviously Little Red Riding Hood.
The finale of The Perfect Housewife [aka Stepford Wife] was filmed at 'the Old Palace at Hatfield House', note the symbolic royal stuff. Naturally the manor goes overboard on the checkerboard floor useage (a pattern we again see following this MK victim around).
Back in a few. Edit: Cheers for comments, anyway more evidence of her MK'd existence as she suffered, "years of alleged physical and mental abuse at the hands of her long-term partner, Bruno Brookes" and Peter Powell apparently punched her in the jaw and such horrific things had happened to her [obviously that's the tip of the iceberg, the true extent of the abuse/programming would never be revealed], not to mention the 'abuse' from the press which obviously factors in too.