Monday, July 31, 2006

War on celebrity

Looks like glossy magazines might be fighting back. Some at least, after an Ashlee Simpson nose job proved a cosmetic alteration too far for Marie Claire readers

Ashlee, the pop kid sister of Jessica 'The Newly Weds' Simpson, appeared on the July cover of Marie Claire magazine talking about how great it was to appreciate one’s body as god intended – sans plastic surgery.

That would be all well and good, but Ash went and go herself a new nose. As you do.  This did not go down well with the readers of Marie Claire who wrote – get this – more than 1,000 letters in protest attacking the magazine, the New York Times says, as "clueless" and hit out at singer Ashlee as a hypocrite.

Fair enough, but more unusually new Brit editor Joanna Coles, who used to work for The Times and the Guardian earlier this year, agreed with her readers. I guess it's worth noting here, she had the luxury to do so because, having only just taken over, the July issue wasn't her responsibility.

The magazine gave extra pages over to the letters and Coles waded in with her own comments: "We’re dazed and confused – and disappointed – by her choice, too", she told readers.

It's an interesting turn of events – so rare is it for women's magazines (or any magazines for that matter) to bite the hand of the carefully coiffured celebrity because the two are so much hand in glove.

"It [Marie Claire] has always been the smart girls' book. But it drifted off-brand, partly due to the assault on the newsstand from celebrity weeklies. It happened to everyone, not just Marie Claire."

Drifting off brand? I hope she doesn't meet former Marie Claire editor Lesley Jane Seymour, who was axed earlier this year.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Charmin work

What a charmer -- the new Charmin viral, that is. It's hard to get excited about ads for toilet tissue, but this one deserves a bit of fuss.

The Charmin toilet tissue viral should be on TV, it's leagues ahead of most, and is just the right side of tasteful to get away with it.

Personally, I'm glad to see it doing away with its cuddly animated bears. Bears in the woods, Andrex puppies and other animals all deserve the boot from this particularly product category.

The Procter & Gamble brand says its has gone for something more in line with the product's "application" in the hope of reaching a wider audience. Er, not sure what that means, but it's funny apart, from the bit where the grandma is trying to pot the brown, that gave me flashbacks to recent efforts trying to pot anything on the table.

If you haven't seen the viral, you can watch it here. It’s our ad of the week on Brand Republic.

Publicis have done a standout job on this ad and created something that is genuinely funny and different.

You can almost imagine the meeting where they sat down and developed the script and tried to come up with as many euphemisms for visiting the toilet as possible.

I'm sure you could get a viral sequel to this if it takes off. Personally, "For god's sake, I'm laying cable" is a new one on me.

Sun burnt

Ally Ross reverts to Sun type this morning with what seems to me like a racist jibe while writing about 'Love Island'.

Of course he's talking about that ball of tantrum and tears that is underwear model Sophie Anderton. Although, does she still model or just party and appear on reality TV?

Who knows, but as you might know if you read the odd tabloid (as no one seems to be actually watching the show itself) Anderton has gone all bunny boiler like over Boyzone singer Shane Lynch.

Lynch? Oh he's one of the "hod carriers", says Ross falling back into the kind of racist anti-Irish language that might once have been wrongly commonplace once, but isn't something you expect national newspaper columnists to be spouting out in 2006.

Ross aside, the goings on in Fiji are oddly compulsive, if from a distance, Lynch appears to have his head screwed firmly on and wants nothing to do with Anderton, who flew off the handle again and had another screaming match with former 'Hollyoaks' star Paul Danan.

There's more screaming in 'Love Island' than 'Big Brother', which has as far as I can tell died everywhere other than in the pages of the Daily Star.

Talking of which it has "Shocking pics you won't believe" today. They're of former 'Big Brother' winner Kate Lawler who signed as the "face of" kinky underwear firm Ann Summers earlier this week.

Mmm, let me think what could help push that news up the tabloid agenda… oh,a kinky story.

So today, we have "Kate Lawler Kinky Sex Pic Shame". Apparently she's been involved in some "crazed obscene romps in a nightclub", which seems to involve chocolate and someone biting her backside. Ho hum.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Not loving it

Things are not going so well for News International on the real life front. Its new magazine Love It! has lost nine staff since its February launch and at 30p this week they are almost giving it away.

According to Press Gazette disgruntled Love It! staff have joined Burda's Full House, including the deputy editor and chief sub.

NI's first foray into the women's magazine market has been relentlessly plugged in the Sun, but apparently to little effect.

Today's ad in the Sun "Get Love it! For only 30p" kind of sums it up. Six months after launch the suspicion is that sales are not going well.

Fortunately, Rupert Murdoch has deep pockets.

It's unclear as to why staff are hacked off. Life at German giant Burda is not much better by all accounts. It has had its own series of staff departures, which kind of leads me think that the whole real-life magazine circuit is not for me, as much as I like to read about real-life lesbian mothers who abandon their children and are tearfully reunited.

News Magazines, the arm of NI publishing it, has said Love It! will be posting its first ABC figure later this year, claiming it will be around or higher than circulation targets of 400,000 guaranteed at launch.

Guess, we'll soon see about that one.

Final countdown

No, not a cue to hum that Europe classic, but a farewell to ‘Top of the Pops’, which has recorded its final show set to air on Sunday presented by that, er, the eccentric Sir Jimmy Saville.

After 42 years and 10 different theme tunes, more than 150 presenters and 2,204 programmes, the end has come.

To celebrate, the BBC is dragging up all those ghosts from the past that I was sure would never been seen on TV again.

Jimmy Saville is one such character. Last time he was on TV was 'Celebrity Big Brother'. Just doing his bit to "fix it for the kids".

It's a long special, if you have the time, and will also include the return of perma-tanned Tony Blackburn, as well as others such as Mike Read and the super cheesy Pat Sharpe.

Reggie Yates is back (no explanation as to why), as is Edith Bowman and Janice Long who we have more time for.

Apparently, John Peel can't make it. That's a real shame. Let's face it, of all, the presenters the late great Peely was one of the best..

The show include a trawl through the archive with promised moments to include some of its greatest performances including The Rolling Stones, Spice Girls, Wham, Madonna, Beyonce and Robbie Williams. OK.

No doubt the Dexy's Midnight Runners moment will turn up. I never quite knew what it was that Jocky Wilson said.

It's not only the bands, singers and presenters of yore who get a look in, there's the dancers as well so I'll definitely be tuning in. Pan's People in their prime? Come on. Sadly, the girls all long since retired won't be back.

There's even an hour-long documentary on BBC Two at 10pm, followed by another at 11pm devoted to the girls: 'Pan's People: Digging the Dancing Queens'. Sadly past my bed time, but hopefully someone will stay up.

I think at this point I'm meant to say something like the world will feel smaller with the passing of 'Top of the Pops', but it's really outlived its usefulness. MTV and the army of music television channels saw to that. Sadly they have their own annoying presenters as well, but that is only to be expected.

If only the BBC would wake up and pull the plug on some of the other crap it airs the world would really be a better place. 'My Hero' and 'A Packet of Crisps and Two Pints of Lager'. I mean why?

I digress, the final filming of Top of the Pops has not gone well. Apparently the audience who turned up to see the last show were not treated to live bands playing the final farewell send off, but instead go to watch a load of...videos clips.

People started leaving the studio, pretty much like the viewers who had already abandoned the show, as they started to feel like they were watching TV with a bunch of cheesy old presenters.

The BBC really pulled out the stops then.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Rooney and Asda

No real surprise that Asda has ended its partnership with Wayne Rooney. He had a crap World Cup and should have stayed at home.

In the end, Asda went with Michael Owen. They had the personality-free zone running around the store in some of the most uninspiring football-related ads of the summer.

My general feeling is that if you are supermarket don't sign a footballer. They're not a good fit. None of them.

Even more so, why would you sign Rooney? He's a star on the pitch (when he's not stamping on people), but off it he's a 20-year-old potato head with a penchant for old-age hookers.

Think of the best supermarket ads. None of them use sports stars. Tesco ads are simple, short and perfectly formed. Waitrose is another and the M&S ads are a star turn. They're all about the food or the product.

Then there's Sainsbury's and Jamie Oliver also continue work very nicely. They have the feel of mini bites (no pun intended) of food programming.

And even years after being in the spotlight, Oliver is still a pretty likeable cheeky chappy who appeals to both men and women. He's also there for a reason.

He's not just famous and photogenic, he is a foodie and has a strong link and reason for being there.

Does anyone think that Rooney knows his way to the kitchen? His new £3m eight-bedroom home is reported to have (as well a three-car garage, pink-tiled swimming pool, gym, sun deck, conservatory, home cinema with life-size cut-outs of John Wayne, matching his 'n' hers bathrooms, a games room)a kitchen said to be as big as a tennis court.

But whether he and Coleen can find their way to it and do something in it is something else. They could probably hire Gordon Ramsay and turn it into a TV show... oh wait they already did.

And another one bites the print dust

It's a digital teen life. A couple of months after ElleGirl went, another US teen title, Teen People, has been closed with Time Inc putting it all online.

The eight-year-old Teen People has been dubbed a pioneer in the teenage market by the New York Times when it was founded in 1998, but the market has changed so dramatically in that time that it no longer has a place.

The magazine has been closed with about 50 jobs lost, with owner Time Inc saying it would continue the magazine online at teenpeople.com.

Teen People did a lot of celebrity news and as a monthly, teenagers were getting all the celebrity gossip news they wanted weekly or even daily online.

You only have to look at the UK market and the story is similar. The weeklies and online flourishing when it comes to gossip.

The same is true in the US where People magazine, Teen People's weekly parent, has a weekly circulation of 3.7m.

In April, Hachette Filipacchi did the same thing. It closed the US print edition of ElleGirl magazine, which is distributed in the UK, in favour of investing in digital media versions of ElleGirl.

After the UK version of the title was closed last autumn, Hachette increased the distribution of the US version of the magazine. The company is redesigning ElleGirl.com and expanding its content and staff.

Although rival Teen Vogue is still going it is planning a new website, which is scheduled to start within a year. That soon.

The problem is, according to Dan Capell, editor of Capell’s Circulation Report, the fast turnover of readers. Magazines are having a tough time hanging onto them.

"Kids sign up for it at 15 and don’t want it at 17, and that means a tremendous turnover. So unless you sell a lot of ads, you’re in trouble," Capell told the NY Times.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Zero appeal

Have you rushed out and tried Coke Zero? I'm betting you haven't.

I drink quite a lot of diet Coke and I'm a bloke, so really I should be rushing out there, but I'm not feeling it.

It could just be me, but Coke Zero feels like another massively misconceived flop waiting to happen. It's New Coke all over again.

I can see Coke execs looking at Pepsi Max and thinking why don't we have Pepsi Max?

But that isn't the question they should be asking. They already have two huge Coke brands. Coke Original and Diet Coke, plus all the lime and lemon variants. There's vanilla as well, but as far as I know that was some crazy American idea that never made it to the UK.

With headlong rush to all things healthy, be it more water brands, smoothies and fruit juices another Coke even with supposedly bloke appeal is not going to crack it.

There's the problem with the proposition as well. Zero Coke (I mean Coke Zero) and Diet Coke both have no sugar...but taste a little different. Do you see a problem there? Okay, Coke Zero is meant to taste like fat Coke, but really it can't.

The great taste of fat Coke comes from that one not so secret ingredient - loads and loads of sugar - and there in lies the problem. How can you imitate something without the key ingredient?

Admit it, Coke Zero is just another Diet Coke variant. And again, what's the point?

I could be completely wrong. The ads are aimed at Nuts and Zoo readers after all. It could only be, what with catchy straplines such as "Blind dates without the psychos" or "Girlfriends without a five-year plan".

All very challenging stuff, I'm looking at my watch and just trying to work out how long it is before the relaunch campaign kicks in.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Desperate Island

ITV is making a last-ditch attempt to save its troubled reality show 'Love Island' by importing more models, and you just know it isn't going to work.

'Love Island' is doomed. You've seen the ratings. It’s been beaten by repeats on Five, and they've bought back serial letch, former 'Hollyoaks' actor Paul Danan.

Danan appeared on last year's show when it was still known as 'Celebrity Love Island'. After that, he went on to appear in his own ITV show, 'Test Drive my Girlfriend’ on one of its digital channel.

Apparently, surprise surprise, he liked his job a little too much and the show was axed.

After the arrival of Danan come more models, with Australian Emily Scott turning up last night.

Even ITV's own website calls Danan "nutty". Go figure. Predictably he love he new Aussie blonde.

"Emily’s gorgeous. Great green eyes, a lovely little face, nice body and she’s really outgoing. I think I’ve got quite a good chance. I’m feeling it! I’m feeling it hard.

Oh please. Emily better watch out though as bunny boiler Sophie Anderton is not so impressed. Sensing competition Soph has already ruled on the new girl Emily. "There's a pecking order here and she can get in line. I don’t think she’s 23. She’s got too many wrinkles around her eyes".

Next up on to the island are glamour model twins Eve and Emma Ryan. And of course one of them has slept with David Beckham -- eight years ago, but at least she's still milking it. That's what this show needs…wait they're all milking it, maybe lease milk is needed.

Emma told the News of the World: "He couldn't wait to see me naked and play strip Scrabble." David Beckham and Scrabble? Oh come on.

Having dropped the “celebrity” tag and just settled for plain old 'Love Island', ITV chiefs must have concluded what its viewers did long ago. It's a very boring show and the "stars" are on the whole kind of unpleasant.

These people are quite nice to look at, but after five minutes of that, does ITV expect anyone to keep watching.

ITV's second problem is that wheeling out more wannabe blondes with boob jobs is not going to save anyone. It's main audience for this show is gay men and women, who are even less interested in blondes with boob jobs than the rest of us.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Red Brick Road

If the Red Brick Road wins the £5m Guardian advertising account, as it is being tipped to do, it will cement an outstanding beginning for Sir Frank Lowe's agency.

Something of a shame to see DDB lose the account as it has done some good work for the paper over the last five years.

It handled the Guardian's transformation very well (as did the paper itself, talking of genuine groundbreaking newspaper transformations) and it was an account coveted by the agency.

The Guardian newspaper ad account has always been different to other newspaper accounts. It isn't just a newspaper for the agency, but also (I think) a reflection of wider values.

It is also a client that has over the years worked with its agencies to produce challenging work, which is always something to be applauded.

With DDB losing Paul Hammersley and David Hackworthy, the Guardian seemed to lose patience with DDB and called time on the relationship.

Breaking is up is always hard to do, but maybe it’s not really a proper break if the paper follows the dynamic duo to their new agency The Red Brick Road.

The shortlist is down to The Red Brick Road and Wieden & Kennedy. Maybe Wieden wills surprise us all, but after The Red Brick Road last week took the £40m global Heineken business, it looks like the road might well lead to Farringdon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Oh Ashley

Now that Ashley Cole has successfully thrown off all those scurrilous stories about gay sex romps, it's good to see that the England player is getting back to what he does best...appearing in tacky publicity shots with his future missus, Cheryl Tweedy, for the National Lottery.

Oh dear oh dear. It's being dubbed the cheesiest pic ever and really it’s difficult to argue with such an analysis.


 
Cole and Tweedy, who has just signed as the face of Coke Zero, get married on Saturday. They obviously wanted to celebrate early by…publicly humiliating themselves? Who knows, it takes all sorts.

The two dandily dressed stars are promoting the launch of the National Lottery’s Dream Number Game…on the day they get married. I guess £60,000 a week can leave you a bit short at times what with the way those WAGs spend.

You have to wonder though why the Arsenal and England star has his fingers crossed in the picture? Is it just for the National Lottery or is it for something else?

Answers on any piece of frilly material you can lay your hands on. Surely it is time to sack the PR advisers who agreed to this one.

Diana, Diana

Nearly ten years dead, but the Daily Express just cannot stop itself. More Diana revelations today.

The Daily Express has been obsessed with Princess Diana for a long time - it’s like a dog that won't let go of a bone.

Last week it was “Diana arrest drama”, the week before it was "Diana: A new murder mystery", and then "Diana death: crucial new evidence.” The list goes on.

Today, it's not only the Daily Express, but the Sun that’s at it as well, as a "caddish" cameraman comes out of the magical Diana closet with a story of a 2.5 minute sex romp. Nice.

Sebastian Rich (no seriously, that's his name) worked for ITN and is asking for £1m for details of his "quickie with Princess Di". Rich was the camera man who shot Diana and Charles for the famous ITV documentary, 'In Public, In Private'

Firstly, it's probably lies, but secondly, £1m for 2.5 minutes? What is he going to reveal.

It's difficult to fathom, but apparently he is looking for a book deal. The mind boggles.

You wouldn't think it would be possible to get a book out of that, but publishing sources say it is possible.

According to the Sun, Rich claims she flung herself at him in a fit of jealousy over an affair Charles was having with a courtier.

The story, like many the Express runs, is scraping the barrel. It's all a rather unpleasant business. Once again, really FTLOG, leave the poor woman alone.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Bride of Who

Catherine Tate, what a nice little surprise tucked in there at the end of the excellent final episode of 'Doctor Who', after we had witnessed the tearful farewell to Billy Piper's Rose.

The only downside was I really was expecting her to die. Nice writing, but what a cop out. We got the great trail at the beginning and eagerly looked forward to the demise of the Doctor’s accomplice chip-shop girl. Or launderette girl. She was good, but as so often pointed out here, no Rosamund Pike.

Anyway, The Observer liked last week's line about laundrette so much that it ran it on Sunday in a piece about the new who assistant Freema Agyeman, who'll be playing a scientist called Martha.

But what do we get? Nothing. Off she walks into the sunset with her perfect new family in a parallel universe. Boo!

Other than that it was brilliant. The Daleks and Cybermen going head to head was only going to come out one way.

The Cybermen with their naff delete were second rate and due for extermination.

So the beach and a holographic farewell in Norway's well-known Bad Wolf Bay.

Back in the Tardis and what's this, was that really Catherine Tate? Sure was.

Tate is to appear in the Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Runaway Bride playing Donna, alongside David Tennant's Doctor.

It's a bit of a lucky gig for Tate who had been holding out for something better. "I was holding out for summer season at Wigan rep but as a summer job this'll do."

Love island tears

Tears for Sophie Anderton, everyone's favourite former troubled Gossard model, as ITV1's 'Love Island' kicked off for its second series.

Anderton just couldn't stop crying. Over anything. First despite packing 30 bikinis the boys passed her over and left her the island's only singleton as Streets star Leo picked kiss-and-tell blonde Alicia Douvall.

Not only did she not get picked for the…errr flirting team, but she was given the role of housekeeper. Cooking and cleaning are alien to Sophie as she quickly made clear.

"I don’t even have to clean my own house. I am so fucked off. This is my penalty for yesterday. They’re going to have a field day on this. I came here and was confident and now I feel like shit and I don’t want to be like this."

And whatever you do, don't ask her for a cup of tea. When ballroom dancing lothario Brendan Cole asked her to put the kettle on she quickly put him in his place.

"You’re a wanker Brendan. I just want to get out of here."

Soph, love wrong show. You've already been on 'I'm a Celebrity Get me out of here'.

It wasn't just Anderton crying - the contestants came over like the England squad on a bad night against Portugal. Former 'Hollyoaks' star Lee "Bombhead" Otway was at it,. although he was crying because everyone says they like him.

Then Brendan cried after Shane Lynch asked him about being macho.

“I’m very in touch with my feminine side,” a breathy Brendan sobbed

Oh boy. This show has to be a hit for ITV after a dismal run at the World Cup and little else in the schedule to excite.

Although it’s a very simple formula (good looking people flirt and snog on a beach) it is curiously watchable.

More so than 'Big Brother' of late, which has overdone it with the number of housemates this year and possible fixes.

This morning its being reported that Max Clifford "groomed" Golden Ticket winner Suzie. Oh dear.

Channel 4 seems to know it might have a battle on its hands and is obviously looking for a strategy to take on lingerie models in bikinis.

The answer this week seems to be to go postal and put all the housemates up for eviction after new house mate Jayne started talking about the outside world and got everyone punished (except herself).

With so many tears shed on the first night in 'Love Island' you just know that there are floods and floods to come.

Update: Ouch. Talk about sand in your eyes. ITV1 pulled in just 3.2m viewers for 'Love Island' last night and a 15% share against 'Big Brother's' 4.6m and a 21% audience share. Oh dear.

The BBC's 'Fools on horses' did better than bikini island pulling in 4.1m. I'm torn though. Celebrities falling off horses or sunning themselves?

But seriously, I really thought that 'Love Island' would do better, but what do I know (I swear that's a rhetorical question)?

'Love Island' sponsor Bounty are not going to be best please with that result for the opening night and I imagine there will be phone calls today:

"You promised us..."

Over on C4 the Carphone Warehouse must be rubbing its hands together at another successful year, which god knows how many weeks in is still pulling in the viewers by the bucket load.

That said, 'Love Island' took a while to warm up last year. All it takes is a few histrionics to pull the viewers in. More tears please.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Horse foolery

I have to own up to having watched a bit of 'Only Fools on Horses', which featured "celebrities" falling off horses and generally make fools of themselves, and finding it very entertaining.

Over the weekend Matt Littler from 'Hollyoaks' had a spectacular fall flying straight off the side. He was subsequently voted off - not particulary for being a poor rider, but for telling the judges that he should be kept on for being gorgeous. No, he wasn't talking about his horse.

I have a couple of worries though. ‘Only Fools’ makes you like Sara Cox. She seems to have become less annoying. That could just be some cunning PR trick.

And is it just me or is Angus – coke and hookers – Deayton now even slimmer than ever. He appears to have total contempt for the audience. Possibly he was unable to believe that his TV career has sunk to avoiding stepping in horse poop and watching C-list celebs fall off their horse.

It's either that or the that fact he just can't believe that the co-presenter of ‘Only Fools’, the solidly wooden Kirsty Gallagher, is never off the telly.

Gallagher once again shows that she learnt everything she knows from Kelly Brook. Although she might have forgotten the stuff about emoting to camera.

We need more shows like this. How about rock climbing, parachuting and hang gliding? None of the above can be much more dangerous than show jumping.

I didn't feel even slightly embarrassed about the levels of enjoyment I seemed to get from watching people come a cropper until Sunday. When the whole bad karma thing came back to bite me.

I'm starting to think that along with the 'My Name is Earl' thing, what comes around really does go around.

I guess at this point I should own up to enjoying the odd canter. So when I turned up to ride on Sunday I got a bit of surprise.

"Your horse is famous, he's been on 'Only Fools on Horses’. Paul Nicholas was riding him, but you better watch out. He tends to buck a bit."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Big bore

I've been trying to follow 'Big Brother' this year, but the sheer number of housemates coming and going has made it a thankless task.

By my count there have been 22 house mates in all in this year's show. That's almost Robert Altmanesque.

Cast you mind back to those heady days of…errr June, when the freaky 14 entered.

Shahbaz, I can barely recall him. Although wasn't he going to kill himself or something? Maybe I mean expose himself. Then there was posh George, possibly related to the Royal Family, by some distance.

There was a girl who couldn't pronounce her name (Bonnie?) and…oh there were some others.

Then they stuck in cross-dresser Sam (the one with all the blusher) and Aisleyne, who is either terrible or brilliant. I can't decide.

Then there was the desperately boring Golden Ticket winner Suzie, her main contribution being she was a bit posh and a pain in the arse. Oh more fake tits, of course. It's pretty much a convention these days.

It's almost impossible to watch Lea. She needs help and Channel 4 should pay for it. Please for the love of god give her a breast reduction.

Now there are four more. All quality-checked nutters and wannabes who have it seemed all been on trial runs of previous Big Brother houses.

It's too much, having invested in watching at least two evictions. That’s poor I know, but I do keep up to date with the Sun/Mirror/Daily Star to be fair). It's just going on for too long.

I know it’s the cash cow, but this endless introduction of the Big Brother reserves has got to stop. It only underlines the fact that the show is running out of ideas.

I still think Pete should win – even though I am not convinced about his Tourette's – but he seems a genuine decent guy. Just one who says "wankers!" all the time, which makes me laugh. I know, I'm pretty easily amused.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

New who

So there you go. It is the woman from 'Crossroads' (Freema Agyeman ) who is to join David Tennant as the new assistant taking over from Billie Piper.

Not of course that anyone remembers the disastrous and shortlived reincarnation of 'Crossroads'.

Weirdly she has already featured in 'Doctor Who' in last Saturday's episode…where she died. Not to worry though, she's coming back, but as someone different.

 Agyeman appeared as Adeola, who was killed by the Cybermen after sneaking off for a bit of nookie. I seem to remember Tennant pulling some long sticky stuff out of her ears after she was killed. I'm guessing she'll hold no grudges.

Freeema might have a somewhat exotic name in real life, but in the world of Who she has something decidedly more Home Counties and will play a character called Martha Jones. Martha Stewart was clearly busy.

Martha Jones is clearly a boffin, which is a step up from Billie who…I don't know, did she work in a laundrette or something?

According to the BBC she won't turn up until the start of the third series, so will not feature in the Christmas special. The Beeb said "we've got another surprise in store for that". Posted by Picasa

Novel ideas

I'm still trying to get my head around this one. Electrolux the novel.

Marketing ran a story yesterday about Electrolux's errr…novel idea to attract male consumers to its brand by commissioning a novel, 'Men in Aprons', to tell the story of two twentysomething men and their approach to relationships, work and domestic life.

It's not a bad idea, I can alsmost see how it happened. It was probably sold to some brand manager at Electrolux as a great way of reaching those hard-to-get young men.

However, the problem is that it's the women in that age group do all the reading and do twentysomething men really spend any time thinking about white goods or relationships for that matter.

Some, but really not many. I could be completely wrong. It happens.

Apparently there's no mention of Electrolux in the story, but the cover shows a man wearing an Electrolux-branded apron. That'll be a front cover ad.

There is a paragraph on the inside cover that talks about the brand's offering. Offering. A word I have come to dislike. Everyone has an offering. My personal offering is, of course, my needed sarcasm.

Which I can't help applying to the suggestion that they expect people to pay £6.99 for this effort. Maybe it will be the next War and Peace, you know, the spin wars.

Electrolux is not the first to try this. Ford paid chick lit author Carole Matthews, writer of 'A Whiff of Scandal', to feature the Ford Fiesta in her next two books in an attempt to target young women.

The car features in her paperback 'The Sweetest Taboo'. She went so far as saying she owned a Fiesta that she calls Flossie. What is it with women and car names?

The former SAS soldier turned best-selling thriller writer Andy McNab has been at it as well. McNab signed a two-year sponsorship deal with watchmaker Traser that ensures that he promotes the watches in his thrillers along with a host of other products. Unfortunately you can't actually buy AKs, HKs or IWs.

And it all started, at least I think it did, with Bulgari, the Italian jewellers, which around five years ago broke new ground in the sponsorship field by paying novelist Fay Weldon to mention its brand in her work. This resulted in a novel The Bulgari Connection.

It's all a bit much really, okay I get the struggling writer thing (though clearly McNabb and Weldon are hardly struggling), but washing machines?

I'm thinking of doing it as well. I'm going to start dropping product names into my Gordon's Breakfast book, but only appropriate brands, of course.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Top 50's

Something is very wrong. C4 has released its '50 Films To See Before You Die' and there seem to have been some major errors.

Where is 'Blade Runner' and 'the Empire Strikes Back'. Both are absent. These two are bonafide classics.

Neither are to be found on the list of films that C4 is featuring as part of its relaunch of Film4 as a free channel on digital cable satellite.

No 'Casablanca' Or 'To Have and Have Not'. Okay, I guess it is sort of trendy not to include 'Casablanca', but one of those films should be in there.

'Citizen Kane' is also absent, that's like a film studies crime.

You might think that the list was draw up by the great and the good. Sadly it's the great and the mediocre with the likes of PR person Jonathan Rutter, along with a couple of critics (Jason Solomons and the very annoying Karen Krizanovich). There's someone called Menhaj Huda who did 'Kidulthood' and panel regular Lord David Puttnam.

'Manhattan' is there instead of 'Annie Hall', although 'the Breakfast Club' has its rightful place over other John Hughes flicks like 'Pretty in Pink'.

There's no 'God Father', no 'Once Upon a Time in America' (or ‘West’ for that matter) or 'Good Fellas'. All important films.

Instead there's stuff like 'The Ipcress File', but no 'Get Carter' or 'The Long Good Friday'.

Oh and 'Lost in Translation' which should be prime example to all of style over substance. Talking of which 'Apocalypse Now'.

Oh, here's the full list.


2001 - A Space Odyssey
A Bout De Souffle
Aguirre, The Wrath of God
Alien
All About Eve
Apartment , The
Apocalypse Now
Badlands
Black Narcissus
Boyz N the Hood
Brazil
Breakfast Club, The
Cabaret
Chinatown
City of God
Come and See
Dawn of the Dead
Donnie Darko
Erin Brockovich
Fanny and Alexander
Fight Club
Heavenly Creatures
Hero
Ipcress File, The
King of Comedy, The
Ladykillers, the
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
Lost in Translation
Manhattan
Manhunter
Mulholland Drive
Night at the Opera
North by Northwest
Pink Flamingos
Player, The
Princess Mononoke
Pulp Fiction
Raising Arizona
Royal Tenenbaums, the
Scarface
Searchers, the
Secrets and Lies
Sexy Beast
Shawshank Redemption, the
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
This Sporting Life
Three Colours Trilogy (Focusing on Blue)
Touch of Evil
Trainspotting
Walkabout

Pizza month

I eat a lot of pizza so consider myself something of an expert, but even I was left wondering by Papa John's new online service.

The pizza company has relaunched its website and claims to be the only pizza delivery chain with an extended ordering service that allows customers to order pizza up to 30 days in advance.

Who orders pizza a month in advance? It goes against the whole culture of pizza, it really does.

It could possibly just be me. I order pizza, you know, pretty much on the spur of the moment. You get home, you don't want to cook or go out so you order pizza. I dial my favourite place in Crouch End and a Polish guy turns up 30 minutes or so later. Maybe he's from Lithuania. Who knows.

Still it seems to be working. Papa John’s say that since it introduced the new online ordering functionality its online orders have doubled.

Maybe there is a world out there so very organised that right now they are planning August 3's fast food feast.