Media: Things we Like

- Sky 1's original commissions

Sky 1 is in danger of looking like a proper mainstream TV channel rather than just the home of The Simpsons. And we like it. While it has occasionally successfully broadened its schedule to include new shows, too often it has just quickly reverted back to its safety zone. But now it has two new series that are definitely worth watching and, what's more, they are UK-produced. Thorne, starring David Morrissey, is a brilliantly dark six-part crime caper set in the East End, while An Idiot Abroad is only slightly diminished by Ricky Gervais' annoying phone calls to its "Little Englander" presenter, Karl Pilkington.

- Sabotage Times

We didn't really want to like Sabotage Times, the website set up by the former Loaded and Jack founder and editor, James Brown. After all, it includes content for professional journalists as well as people who are just starting their writing careers. And none of them get paid, which hardly bodes well for the future of journalism. That said, it includes some lively reportage and opinion on subjects including music, people, sport and travel and, for now at least, is uncluttered by ads.

- Ocean Outdoor's Live Creative Competition

We enjoyed Ocean Outdoor's recent "Live" creative awards, which involved creative agency teams uploading ad creative on Ocean's website, which was shown on Ocean sites ahead of a public and judges' vote. The winner,, developed an ad for British Airways that featured an interactive element with a bikini-clad model responding to Tweets from passing members of the public. With a prize including £250,000 of free media, the contest was worth winning.

- Danny Dyer's autobiography - Straight Up

We haven't yet got our hands on it, but what has already emerged is that Dyer, the star of one decent film - Human Traffic - and countless low-budget Bravo series, was a friend of the playwright Harold Pinter. Seriously. Reportedly, Pinter took a shine to the foul-mouthed Cockney geezer who lost his agony uncle column in Zoo magazine for apparently recommending that a jilted man slash his girlfriend's face. Although the magazine later apologised and blamed it on an "unfortunate production error", what other revelations can we expect?


- Michael McIntyre's autobiography - Life & Laughing: My Story

There's another celebrity book out this week and it's got even less chance of being read than Dyer's. We refer to Michael McIntyre's Life & Laughter: My Story, where the over-exposed comic bares his soul and talks about his dramatic weight loss. You could argue that if we don't like it, we don't have to buy it. But, sadly, it's serialised all this week in The Sun.