How to get the best combo in the Boots Meal Deal, with Chris Hemsworth

WHEN Chris Hemsworth is filming movies like the worst Thor one in Britain, he heads to Boots for lunch just like any office worker. He explains how he gets value out of his Meal Deal. 

Take your time

Believe it or not, there are seven million possible Meal Deal combinations so don’t rush into this. Remember, it’s costing you at least £3.59. Walk the aisle. Ignore requests for selfies by explaining you’re focusing on your Meal Deal right now. And always, always pick your main first and build around it.

Think about the meal as a whole

Meditate and picture your whole meal. Have you combined a bland main with a bland snack? Is a vegan Southern Fried Wrap going to be outshone by Sweet Chilli Kettle Chips? Will a Shaken Udder Strawberries & Cream shake be too much? Visualise. Picture, then buy.

Ask the staff

If you’re in the area, which I was to film some bullshit commercial for Dubai I got paid millions for, then Carole of the Dagenham branch is a Meal Deal sensei. She’ll chat to you about something seemingly unrelated then bam – out of nowhere she’s recommending the Roast Chicken and Bacon sandwich with salt & vinegar Hippeas and Smart Water. She’s never wrong. If I ever win an Oscar I’ll thank her first.

Don’t fill up on the fizzy

They’re refreshing, but fizzy drinks are the enemy of a successful meal deal. Always choose a still drink. The last thing an experienced Meal Dealer wants is to realise halfway through their Shapers Prawn Cocktail Layered Pasta Salad they’re too gassy for their Quavers. It’s a marathon not a sprint.


When I was filming the first Thor movie, I’d snack all day. Ken Branagh had to sit me down and say ‘Chris, we’re blowing the budget. The whole production could get shut down. Have you tried a Boots Meal Deal?’ Changed my life, dude. There’s no shame in going for the best possible saving, and currently that’s a Chicken Sandwich Triple Pack, Trek Protein Bar and Naked Smoothie. Unbeatable.

Be watchful

Not all items are eligible, and the last thing you want is to get to the checkout with a rogue snack pot and be forced back to the chillers looking a dick. Or worse, you’ll pay full for your main, drink and snack because you got sloppy. This happened when I was in London filming Men in Black: International and I’m pretty sure it’s why it was a worldwide flop. I was so pissed about the Advantage Points I’d missed I couldn’t be bothered to act.

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Let's move to a town building so many new estates it'll soon cover the whole UK! This week: Didcot

What’s it about?

Enjoy railway lines, disused power stations and sprawling new housing developments? Then Didcot is your kind of shithole.

Trains go through it, builders seem to think everyone in the south-east wants to live in a crappy little new build in it, and statisticians voted it England’s most normal town. Still interested? Why?

In the shadow of Oxford, Didcot has worked hard not to be sullied by any of the dreaming spires’ prestige or beauty, and despite an insane level of development has carefully kept useful infrastructure to a minimum. That said, there is an Aldi.

Any good points?

The Railway Centre, appropriately accessed via the train station, is 21 acres of diesel and steam trains ideal for boomers and their grandchildren.

Staffed by men who bloody love trains and wouldn’t be doing with any Thomas the Tank Engine bollocks, it’s where Hollywood shoots films with old trains in. Keira Knightley spent days in Didcot pretending it was 19th-century Russia. Not a bad survival strategy for the town generally.

The Orchard Centre’s taken Didcot up a notch from the shitty shops on Broadway: with a big M&S, truly enormous car park and multi-screen cinema, you can almost forget you’re in Didcot. It should do extremely well.

Wonderful landscape? 

The immense cooling towers, visible from 30 miles away, made Didcot the leading blot on the Oxfordshire landscape until 2014, at which point they became fiery beacons on the landscape when they caught fire.

In their absence, Didcot’s merely a malevolent presence in the minds of Home Counties villagers fighting to keep a buffer of green space between them and Didcot’s rabidly expansionist town planners.

It’s an incredibly flat town, with few vistas, many roundabouts and a lot of supermarkets. If you want nothing out of the ordinary you really will find it here.

Hang out at…

The Didcot Wave, a leisure centre which, as its unimaginative name suggests, has a wave machine. The Cornerstone arts centre for some very regional arts.

For a fun evening out in a pub popular with young people who can’t afford to leave the town and old people who can’t be arsed to, there’s Broadways. Powerfully unlike the New York street of theatres, entertainment and commerce because it’s crap, but does open until 3am at weekends.

A drink there is sure to escalate into an all-night bender, often with a crowd in school uniform because the news that’s a bit dodgy hasn’t reached Didcot yet.

Where to buy?

Will you buy a house on a new-build estate, looking like like the CGI version of it on RightMove but shittier, to the north, south, west or east of the town? Or go for the olde worlde charm of the Ladygrove estate, dating from the 90s?

Alternatively you could spunk £650k on a charming cottage in one of the surrounding picture-perfect villages, which will all soon be subsumed by Didcot new-build estates.

From the streets:

Helen Archer, aged 34: “Has Didcot flourished? Or has it spread like a pox, drowning nearby Harwell and the Hagbournes in its normalness? All I know is I’m proud to live somewhere I can finally start living my most median life.”