There may be question-marks hanging over its future ownership, but Virgin Radio isn't letting this stop its investment in programming. The station has just hired the presenters JK and Joel to present a show on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The move is a welcome transfer for the lively duo, who were doing an early morning slot on Radio 1, and should provide a showcase for their talents. We're less sure about the signing of hit-and-miss comedian Iain Lee to present a Sunday-night show, though, but his offering of late-night chat and music might work well.
Competition in the weekend news market got hotter last Saturday when The Times launched its quarterly lifestyle title Luxx. The magazine, bagged free with the Saturday package, is pitched squarely at the luxury sector, with the first issue focusing on luxury gifts for Christmas. The magazine has brought in some big-name advertisers, and offers a welcome alternative to some of the luxury titles available on newsstands. The next issue, out in February, will focus on spring fashions.
We've long been fans of the BBC's foodie title, and its Christmas edition this time around is its best yet. The editor, Christine Hayes, has just deservedly picked up Best Editor in the Lifestyle Sector at the BSME Awards, and its mix of practical food ideas and food lifestyle coverage (new restaurants, places to go when taking a long weekend) is much fresher than in traditional food titles. Access to BBC TV chefs provides some mainstream appeal, but the title doesn't rely on this alone.
RIVER COTTAGE: GONE FISHING
Continuing the foodie theme, we're really enjoying Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's latest instalment in the River Cottage franchise. Although we're wondering how much longer he can milk this brand, the fishing theme is a welcome one, and provides a bit of salty sea action to go alongside the more relaxing moments, which are a staple of the River Cottage shows.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
CHRISTMAS FRAGRANCE ADS
You really know that Christmas is approaching when every ad break seems to be full of images of windswept models joyously running through sand dunes before launching themselves into a passionate clinch. Yes, it's the return of the perfume ads. Not only are they the same as last year, they're the same as each other - and so hardly likely to make anyone pick one scent over another. Please, if you must blanket-book ad slots for the entire festive season, can we have something that is a bit more engaging next year?