SUNNY Shoebury was turned into a sodden beach scene on Tuesday as film crews working for Cadbury made it rain for a new advertisement.

Shoebury Common was the setting for the ad, as water was pumped from a red tanker in the car park and sprayed on to a purple- coloured ice cream van.

In the advert for a Cadbury ice cream, produced by R&R ice cream, a man is seen ordering from the van as the heavens open, before taking a bite, doing a twirl and running off with a smile on his face.

Ironically, the film crew had rehearsals on Monday, but a real downpour hit the beach, causing them to get soaked, and special paint on the ice cream van to wash off.

Peter Grubb, of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, said: “Because the weather was lousy, they sheltered in the nearby Uncle Tom’s and we were happy to provide a service.

“The purple of the van was specially-painted, but the paint was water-soluble, so they did it again this morning.”

The shoot in Shoeburywas the latest in a string along the seafront and followed Saturday’s filming of two camels on the beach for children’s TV show, Marrying Mum and Dad.

Lisa Ferne, Southend Council’s tourism and events manager, said Shoebury Common had been chosen by Cadbury because it wanted a location with beach huts that wasn’t too far from London.

Derek Jarvis, Southend councillor responsible for leisure and tourism, said the filming was a result of touting the town as a suitable place for movies, adverts and TV shows.

He said: “We’ve been encouraging this for years as the estuary is fantastic for filming – it’s a lovely south-facing area from the point of view of getting lots of light and there’s not too much in the way of background if you get the angle right.

“Whenever we’re attending anything where we know people in the creative world and production are about, we always mention the benefits of filming in Southend, and our film festival often gives us the opportunity to do this.”

Denise Rossiter, president of the Essex Chamber of Commerce, added: “There are so many wondrous places to film in Southend with its museums, parks and beaches, so we need to encourage people to bring film crews here to give us that exposure to the outside world.”