Mr Acerbi is said to have gone through a rigorous audition process before being awarded with the coveted role. His affinity for water sports including sailing and canoeing, equipped him with the necessary seafaring qualities, Birdseye bosses said. A Birds Eye spokesman said: “With almost 35 years’ experience in front of the camera, Riccardo nabbed the role following a rigorous audition process at which he impressed Birdseye with his genuine approach to portraying the Captain and love of the sea.”He is not the first young Captain to grace our screens.Thomas Pescod took on the role in 1998 at the age of just 31. The move was a flop however and the character was dropped from adverts. The new Captain will replace Mitch Commins Unlike his predecessor, the 56-year-old also doesn’t suffer from seasickness. With his shaggy white beard, sailor’s hat and a twinkle in his eye Captain Birdseye is instantly recognisable as the kindly face of fish fingers. But now the salty sea dog has been given a face lift and replaced with a younger – and some customers have noted remarkably attractive – model. As part of an £8 million advertising campaign Italian born actor Riccardo Acerbi, 56, is set to replace South African Mitch Commins, 68, who took the role less than two years ago.The new Captain will make his television debut at 6.45pm tonight [Monday] on Channel 4. The ad is expected to see Captain Birdseye jumping into the sea with his grandchildren, before tucking into a plate of fish fingers.It has been claimed that the new face of the Captain comes as the company aims to make the character more contemporary.Other adjectives have been used on social media. Ok Magazine tweeted: “OMG, the new hunky Captain Birdseye will make you think differently about Fish Fingers.” The new advert will launch on Monday evening Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.