The price of the Saturday edition of The Times may have risen by 10p, but we're still willing to buy it because of its excellent listings guide The Knowledge. Last weekend, the designers really went to town with a cover featuring Dennis the Menace and cartoon-style captions. The artwork coincides with a BBC4 programme, Comics Britannia, which looks at the history of British comics. Other content is strong, too, and includes interviews with Clive Owen and the comedian Sean Lock.
RUGBY WORLD CUP COVERAGE
England might not win this time around, though we're always willing to think the impossible, but ITV is providing some comprehensive coverage of the World Cup from France. Coverage of all 48 matches across ITV1, ITV3 and ITV4, plus highlights packages, means fans won't miss any of the action. ITV has landed some big names to provide commentary and analysis, including the former England captain Martin Johnson. And the matches are all being simulcast on ITV.com, providing a boost for the revamped site.
ESQUIRE DROPPING COVERLINES
The National Magazine Company has begun mailing a separate subscribers' edition of its monthly men's title. The edition features a clean front cover stripped of its coverlines (which are essentially redundant away from the newsstand), and the result is really refreshing. We're generally in favour of the changes overseen by the title's editor, Jeremy Langmead, and this move is one of several designed to make the magazine different in its market. It will now be interesting to see if this extra care and quality will increase circulation.
THE SOPRANOS ON E4
Back for its final, seventh series on E4, the first two episodes haven't disappointed. Tension is building nicely as the mobsters battle for the vacant boss position in New York, and Christopher's film production with the mob horror Cleaver has stirred up tensions within the family. As usual, each show is expertly acted, scripted and leaves several plotlines waiting to be completed. It's going to be hard to remain in the dark over the outcome of the finale with so much talk about it online, but we're determined to try.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
The Crocs phenomenon is getting to us because we reckon they are ugly and should only be worn by children. The scale of the PR coverage being generated is also ridiculous. We've heard broadcasters describing the "shoes" as "trendy" because people as diverse as George Bush and Martin Clunes are supposedly fans. Reports of the Crocs brand expanding into clothing are also worrying. But there are signs that the tide is turning. Let's hope newspaper articles on nurses being banned from wearing Crocs is the start of the backlash.