ITV's timing was perfect in broadcasting the terrestrial premiere of ITV Productions' The Queen, starring Dame Helen Mirren. Screened last weekend when the tenth anniversary of the death of the Princess of Wales had sparked a frenzy of Diana nostalgia, the excellent film captured an audience of eight million and continued ITV's strong recent ratings performance on weekend evenings. With more feature productions scheduled, ITV could soon rival FilmFour in the film reputation stakes. A movie about the legendary football manager Brian Clough is rumoured to be one such project in the offing.
THE RETURN OF THE INNOCENT SMOOTHIE HATS
Every year since 2003, Innocent has enlisted a small army of knitters across the country to make colourful little woollen hats that fit on top of their smoothie bottles sold in Sainsbury's. For every hatted bottle sold, Innocent donates 50p to the charity Age Concern. Last year, 230,000 hats were knitted (which raised £115,000). This year, it is aiming for 400,000. So far, Innocent has reached just over £2,000, so get your needles out.
FOOTBALL ITALIANO ON FIVE
We've been big fans of the Italian football over recent years, even the recent referee bribery scandals haven't put us off, so five's screening of a live match each Sunday afternoon marks a welcome return to screens after Bravo's decision to ditch its coverage last season. There's no James Richardson, but five has nevertheless put together a solid package, complemented by a regular highlights show that rounds up all the week's goals.
The Economist's new quarterly lifestyle title launched this week and we were really taken with the first issue. It looks great and the paper quality really makes a difference. Features on fashion, hunting in France and the impact of wealth on children were impressive and advertisers seem to have piled in from day one.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
CHANNEL 4'S NEW DRAMA SPONSORSHIP
Comparethemarket.com, the price comparison website, has replaced 118 118 as the sponsor of Channel 4 drama, which covers its main channel and digital channels. Good luck to the broadcaster after signing the £5 million deal to follow the directory enquiry service, but the low-grade idents seem really out of place when bookending quality shows such as The Sopranos. The fact that the deal stretches across so many programmes is only set to make the break bumpers more irritating.