The furniture retailer Harveys has taken over from Cadbury as the sponsor of Coronation Street, and its first idents seem a surprise winner. It's early days, but the advertiser and its agencies (creative is through Proximity, and MediaVest UK struck the sponsorship deal) have made the best of the tie-up. The first break bumpers introduce nice little nods to Coronation Street history, such as flying ducks and other ornaments, suggesting that the spots might use a more bearable form of humour than the Cadbury ones before them.
Pearl & Dean ran a well-attended preview screening of Anton Corbijn's film about the band Joy Division and its singer, Ian Curtis. The film is brilliantly shot in black and white, and provides a fascinating cinematic version of the events that led to Curtis' suicide. There are strong performances from the lead characters (Sam Riley as Curtis and Samantha Morton as his wife, Debbie). Toby Kebbell as the band's manager, Rob Gretton, injects some much-needed humour and light into proceedings. It might not be a blockbuster, but if there is any justice in the world, this should do good business when it opens to the public on Friday.
FREE WATER WITH THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
For two Saturdays running now, we've enjoyed receiving a huge bottle of Vittel water free with our copy of the Telegraph (or should that be a free copy of the paper with our water, given that there is only a 15p price difference between the products?). Hats off, too, to the Telegraph for ensuring that WH Smith actively sells the promotion. At Waterloo station, they even offered to throw in a free rugby ball. They'll be giving the newspaper away soon.
It's good to have Prison Break back for a third series so soon, courtesy of Sky One snatching the UK rights from five. Consequently, the action is being shown just a week behind its current run in the US. It might not bring in the audiences of 24 or other US imports, but Prison Break is the sort of content Sky One needs as it fights off increased competition from the likes of Virgin 1.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
THE SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL
Billie Piper's "star turn" as Belle de Jour in ITV2's new drama offering was laughable. It made Pretty Woman look like a hard-hitting documentary. And, as most TV critics have pointed out, she must be the only call girl in the world who does the dirty with her pants on. Sexy? Not a bit of it. We kept expecting the late-lamented Sid James to pop up from behind the curtain. This should really have been called Carry on Call Girl and confined to one episode. We wonder how many of the initial 1.8 million viewers will come back for more.