Friday, 28 September 2007

News From Satski

The First ‘Real Time’ Interactive GPS Piste Map Hits the Slopes

Satski is set to revolutionise skiing holidays. This ‘must have’ ski gadget enables skiers to navigate the piste, record their day on the slopes and speed levels all from their pocket.

Satski is a touch screen colour GPS system which uses ‘real time’ while on the piste to plot user’s routes and guide skiers and boarders of all different levels around the resort, providing an easy to use, interactive piste map. The Satski display will show the users’ current location on the piste, replays previous runs or the full day skiing. Satski also includes useful information on local points of interest on the mountain like restaurants and lifts. Whilst tracking ‘live’ statistics on the piste, the Satski receives GPS signals constantly to allow users to navigate themselves around the mountain in ‘real time’. Satski also includes a built in MP3 player and gaming features, making this multi purpose gadget the ‘must have’ for this season, and beyond. It is the best way to measure a day’s skiing – from speed to distance travelled. Satski is set to change the way people explore and enjoy the slopes.

Suitable for everyone, Satski enables beginner and intermediate skiers to plan a full day out on the piste avoiding black and red runs and enabling them to navigate with ease to preferred restaurants and locations around the mountain. More experienced and competitive skiers can plot harder runs and measure their speed and terrain covered which can then be uploaded onto the resorts ranking site to compare stats with others.

During a day out on the mountain, the Satski can perform the following main tasks:
Tracking and updating your current real time position on the pistes
Updating statistics showing real time stats (Average ski speed, maximum speed achieved, distance, altitude, distance skied and altitude climbed/descended and more)
Storing to a data file your position, altitude, speed and distance – for analysis later

Satski Key extra features include:
An MP3 Player: Music downloads onto the Satski system to listen to throughout the day.
Interactive Games: A series of multimedia games ideal for keeping kids entertained during breaks on the slopes.
Links to emergency contacts: A series of emergency numbers that will be readily available if for any reason something goes wrong (e.g. local doctor/mountain rescue/Piste security)
Photos and information on restaurants: This will give the user a summary of restaurants and bars that are local to their position or located on the route plotted.
Après-Ski promotions: Offers and deals within specific bars in town giving users great deals for après ski entertainment.
Take home CD-ROM: Satski statistics and information from the time on the slopes can be downloaded to take home after the holiday.


Notes to Editors:

- Currently there are 13 luxury resorts offering the Satski service including: Tignes, Val d’Isere, Courchevel 1550-1650,1850, La Tania Meribel, Val Thorens, La Plagne, Les Arcs, St. Anton and Verbier however Satski can be used across the Alps and in North America.
- Satski RRP £1,500
- Satski rental through participating resorts £ 28.00 or €40.00 per day including take home CD!

News from Knorr

Marco Takes Stock
Michelin star chef teams up with Knorr

Fresh from his stint in Hell’s Kitchen, Marco Pierre White has announced his first partnership since leaving the TV show, with the ingredient he describes as “the best in the world” - Knorr stock cubes. The Michelin-star chef and restaurateur has proudly used the ingredient for years and is hoping to inspire people to use Knorr stock cubes in imaginative ways in the kitchen. He will also star in a Knorr advertising campaign over the next 12 months.

Utilising them in a variety of ways, Marco has used Knorr stock cubes as an integral ingredient in his award-winning dishes throughout his career. Still the youngest chef to be awarded three Michelin stars, Marco is happy to use regular household ingredients including Knorr within his menu, to enhance flavours within his cooking.

Famously describing Knorr as “ the best ingredient in the world” in an interview earlier this year, Marco knows you don’t always have to dissolve Knorr cubes in water. He even adds them straight into many dishes instead of salt and pepper to bring out the dishes’ true flavour.

Marco says, “I built my reputation using Knorr cubes and truly believe you can’t cook properly at home without them”.

Katie Lindridge, Brand Manager for Knorr, said “Throughout his career, Marco has talked about how essential Knorr stock cubes are to his cooking. We really believe his passion can inspire people to use them in different and exciting ways to help them in the Kitchen.”

Marco will be appearing in a selection of adverts for Knorr stock cubes that will feature some of his most popular methods for using the ingredient. From mixing it with olive oil and rubbing it under the skin of a chicken, to using the stock cubes to cook tasty vegetables, Marco has plenty of tips that helped him get to the top of his career.

Friday, 21 September 2007

News From Discovery Real Time London Ink

-Second giant statue unveiling for the Capital-

LONDON, SEPTEMBER 21, 2007 - LONDONERS are being besieged by massive human statues, as a second gigantic, life-like model is unveiled in the capital to mark the launch of London Ink (Discovery Real Time, 10pm Sunday 23rd).

Hot on the heels of a super-sized swimmer revealed at Tower Bridge on Tuesday, Victoria station is getting the London Ink treatment. Commuters will have to struggle around the huge figure as they battle their way into work.

Like something out of Alice In Wonderland, the giant female figure is sprawled across the station’s concourse one, her upper body squeezing into a photo booth. She is 16ft long and 7ft high and is and made out of reinforced polystyrene and hand painted to resemble human flesh.

On her back is a tattoo of a London pigeon, designed by star of London Ink Louis Molloy, best known for being David Beckham’s personal tattooist and ‘inking’ the world’s most famous tattoo, his Guardian angel.

London Ink launches on Discovery Real Time on Sunday 23 September at 10pm.

About London Ink
London Ink is a cross between reality TV and a docu-soap that follows the drama of Britain's most exciting tattoo studio. The show shadows the fiery relationships between some of the country's best tattooists - mentored by Louis Molloy. The real life stories of people who come in to get tattooed offer a fascinating insight into why people get inked.

London Ink is the British arm of Discovery Real Times’ Ink franchise which kick-started with highly successful US series Miami Ink, now in its third series. LA Ink has also just finished filming in Los Angeles.

About Louis Molloy
Louis Molloy, is best known for being Beckham's tattooist. Louis has a long list of celebrity clients having 'inked' many of Britain's sporting heroes from Becks to Freddie Flintoff and Ian Wright. His great relationship with the Beckham's saw him ink the world's most photographed tattoo - Beckham's gigantic Guardian Angel, a tattoo he has been asked to repeat many times for members of the public the world over. From this first meeting he forged a strong bond with the couple and has tattooed Beckham another eleven times and Victoria as well. He has also tattooed other Brit pop stars and soap stars.

News From Metro Ski And Snowboard Show

Metro Ski and Snowboard Show - Bringing the Mountains to the City

24th-28th October 2007 Olympia, London

You don’t have to be a winter sports fanatic or a regular on the slopes to enjoy a memorable and exciting day out at the Metro Ski and Snowboard Show – now in its 34th year.

This year, the show is an all-singing all-dancing interactive experience; combining both regular favourites such as the teaching slope and the World Resorts Village with eight all-new features, including London’s first ice rink of the season and a music venue the ‘gigloo’.

Whether it’s watching a fashion show, learning how to land a jump, doing some shopping or simply sitting back with a drink and soaking up the Alpine atmosphere, there’s something for everyone.

Snow Sports
If you’re looking for some hands on experience, beginners and enthusiasts alike have an opportunity to try their hand at snow sports. An experienced team of experts is ready to guide beginners on the purpose built teaching slope and all new ice rink.

For those seeking more adrenalin fuelled activities, why not take a look at the pros on the Trespass Quarter Pipe or Burton Rail Jam brought to you by Land Rover. Whilst you’re there, you can even scale an ice face on our Crystal ice climbing wall.

For the style fashionistas amongst you, head straight to the Brand Arena, where practical apparel meets high fashion, with iconic brands such as Oakley, Salomon, Nike ACG and Burton launching their winter collections. With a highly charged visually explosive fashion show, you’re guaranteed to find an outfit and equipment to set you apart from the crowds on the slopes this winter.

If being out on the slopes all day gives you a touch of frostbite, then head to one of our four entertainment areas to warm yourself up.
For those who love their music as much as their ski holidays, the Gigloo is a must! For the first time ever, we will be hosting a series of exclusive live gigs from a unique ‘igloo’ venue, in conjunction with XFM.

If you’re still in need of some entertaining, a visit to the Image Gallery and all-new Dare2b Video Wall area is a must. View a selection of winter imagery captured by the general public -from ultimate wipe-outs to sunsets on the slopes. In fact, why not submit your own snaps and videos on from 14th September.

World Resorts Village
If you’re craving a taste of something a little continental, experience fine cuisine from across the world, without having to leave the building, in our World Resorts Village. Mouth watering delights from countries such as France, Austria, Italy and Japan will be sure to satisfy even the finest of palates as well as holiday packages to suit every possible need – shop around for your perfect ski holiday and get the best deals out there.
If it’s a cold beer and a bar with a view you’re after, head to the stunning new roof terrace bar, where you can relax and unwind with views of the slopes and the Quarter Pipe below.

If after all of that, you’re still in search of an adrenalin hit, a visit to see the visually explosive international ice sculpting competition is a must! Plus there are husky dogs….phew! is that enough for you?


News From The Metro Ski And Snowboard Show

Metro Ski and Snowboard Show, a Family Winter Wonderland in the Heart of London

October 24th – 28th 2007 Olympia, London

With half term fast approaching, the question of how to entertain your little ones is not far from anyone’s mind.

The Ski and Snowboard Show – on the slopes with, is a one-stop shop to keep boredom at bay for children of all ages. The best bit is, after purchasing your family ‘Anti-boredom Pass’ at the door, all activities are absolutely free! Plus, without leaving the UK you and your family can experience wonders from around the world, all under one roof.

Fun on the Ice
Don’t miss a skate on the first ice rink to hit London this season! A truly magical experience for families - just don’t forget your gloves!
On route, be sure to take a peek at the international ice sculpting competition; accompanied by a pack of kid friendly, sledge pulling huskies - it’s a real showstopper.

Taster lessons
It’s a fact that kids are fearless and learn at a rate of knots, so give them a chance to exploit this with a taster lesson. Under the watchful eye of a team of dedicated instructors, children can enjoy their first taste of skiing or boarding on our purpose built teaching slope.

A head for heights
If your children are real action jacksons, why not send them to experience the thrills and spills of our all-new children’s climbing wall. Under the expert supervision of our experienced experts, the feature will bring the world of climbing to life.

The show offers a fantastic opportunity to kit out the entire family for the season ahead, including 12 of the biggest brands and major retailers such as Ellis Brigham and Snow & Rock offering discounts. To keep the kids entertained whilst you’re picking out the bargains, a visit to the fashion show is a must, a dancing visual extravaganza guaranteed to wow all ages.

Children also get the chance to design their own board in a competition with plenty of fantastic prizes.

A cultural experience
Give your children the chance to experience cultures from across the world, all under one roof, with our World Resorts Village. Food and drink from countries such as Italy, France and Japan will be on offer to give palates a taste extravaganza. It doesn’t end there, with travel representatives from across the globe at hand to advise on the most family friendly new destinations and latest deals, tailor making your dream holiday is made easy.
Après ski
If mums and dads are in need of a relaxing drink after an action packed day, head to the all new stunning roof terrace bar, where you can soak up the alpine atmosphere in style.

Ps. The free Ski Show crèche will be happy to look after your little ones whilst you enjoy a quick time out.

News From Sega - Sonic Rush Adventure

Tracking devices to monitor hedgehog’s movements

Sonic the Hedgehog, the world’s favourite hedgehog, has teamed up with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to help raise awareness of the hedgehog’s decline, which has seen them included on a list of species that need protection.

In an attempt to track the whereabouts of hedgehogs and to understand their daily routines, where they go and what they do, SEGA has fitted GPRS tracking devices to 100 hedgehogs and will monitor them daily over the course of the next fortnight. This research will go a long way to helping the BHPS understand what is happening to the UK’s hedgehog population.

To coincide with the 14th September launch of Sonic Rush Adventure on the Nintendo DS, SEGA, the iconic video game publisher, is inviting people to send images of how they help hedgehogs; from offering food to leaving a corner of the garden wild to make a hedgehog home. Images should be sent to and anyone sending in an image will be rewarded with a Sonic Rush Adventure prize pack.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society is involved in a project called HogWatch aimed at taking a snapshot of hedgehog numbers across the UK. Nearly 20,000 people took part in HogWatch which reported sightings and non-sightings of hedgehogs in 2005 and 2006, making it the largest mammal survey of its kind. HogWatch was launched in response to findings that hedgehogs have declined by as much as 50% in some regions and was backed up by a recent report published by leading scientists from the University of London.

Fay Vass, Chief Executive of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, said: “We really appreciate SEGA showing concern for hedgehogs and encouraging their customers to help stop the decline of Britain’s only spiny mammal. Hedgehogs were around before sabre-toothed tigers and it is important that we do all we can to ensure they are around for years to come”

A SEGA spokesperson said: “We’re delighted to be working with British Hedgehog Preservation Society to help raise awareness of such an important issue. Hopefully we can help to make a positive impact.”

Sonic Rush Adventure is on sale exclusively for Nintendo DS from 14th September. To be in with a chance of winning a copy of Sonic Rush Adventure, log on to and take part in the game.

News From Bennetts

Many bikers unconcerned about emissions – but majority make effort to cut their carbon footprint

Despite widespread awareness of environmental causes, over two thirds of UK bikers are unconcerned about their level of emissions, a survey by Bennetts, the UK’s number one for motorcycle insurance*, reveals.

The research, compiled from biking fans up and down the country, examined the biking community’s attitudes towards the environment – and how ‘green’ the UK’s bikers really are. It found that 71% of bikers admit to never considering the carbon emissions of their bike and that 54% never think about the green credentials of a new purchase. In addition, just one in four (26%) of those questioned said they would consider purchasing either an electric bike or one that ran on alternative fuel.

However, the vast majority DID admit to making regular efforts to reduce their impact on the environment. 95% of those surveyed admitted that they had made changes to their biking routine to help the environment. These include not over-revving, reducing the amount of riding weight and not idling (standing still with the engine on). Almost one in two riders confessed to regularly pumping up their tyres, which reduces the amount of fuel consumption, therefore helping the environment.

Marketing Director of Bennetts, Mark Fells said of the findings; “There is real evidence that environmental issues are becoming increasingly important within the biking community. Only five per cent of those we spoke to do nothing to cut down their carbon footprint, which shows how strongly many UK bikers feel about their impact on the environment.”

* Based on independent research conducted in July 2006

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

News from Nick Jr

Britain's children are not being told to "respect their elders"

New research reveals that only 25% of parents deem 'respect for authority' as an important family value.

Amidst fears that crime is taking over Britain's streets, a new survey by popular digital pre-school TV channel Nick Jr. shows that parents are no longer concerned for their children to 'respect their elders'.

The research, which canvassed over a thousand UK parents about their views on family values, reveals that only a quarter deem 'respect for authority' as an important value to instil in their children.

The study reveals a string of surprising findings, including the fact that religion is now seen as the least significant aspect of family life, with only 3% of parents thinking it important for their children. Additionally, with an ever-increasing divorce rate, it comes as no surprise that results indicate one in two parents don't consider the stability of family unit as an important value.

It’s not all doom and gloom as The Nick Jr. Family Values Report found that love and affection was chosen as the most important family value with 84% of the votes, closely followed by communication and quality time in second place with 64% of parents choosing this as their second most significant family value.

The report also revealed a distinct 'generation gap' between parents in different age brackets. Currently, one in five parents aged 16-24 see academic achievement as a top priority, whereas only 3.5% of over-55's feel the same way. The gulf between generations is also apparent in respondents’ views on mutual trust and integrity, with almost 50% of over-55’s claiming this is of merit compared with just 28% of parents aged 25-34.

Additionally, it was shown that 44% of parents believe kids today have more opportunities than they did when growing up, with only one in five parents aged up to 24 agreeing with this statement, rising to over half of 45-54 year olds. Despite this statistic indicating that younger parents are less optimistic about their offspring’s opportunities, a third of respondents aged 16-24 claim that their kids are having a happier childhood than they did and a quarter think their kids have more friends than they did.

‘These findings are intriguing due to the extremity of the results across the generations’, says Dr. Sandra Wheatley, a psychology consultant who specialises in the emotional aspects of family life. ‘Naturally you would expect to see some differences, but not almost a halving of the importance of something as central to family life as mutual trust and integrity. However, it is reassuring to hear that younger and older parents alike feel that love, affection and communication are valuable to a happy family life.’

‘It's interesting to note that younger parents don't perceive increased opportunities as leading to a happy childhood, which one might expect in a society that places such value on materialistic experiences - rather they seem to emphasise the contribution of emotional values such as love and compassion and having more friends.’

‘The family unit is certainly evolving and not necessarily in the way psychologists might predict.’

Nick Jr. is available on Sky 618, Virgin TV 715 and Tiscali TV

News from Nick Jr


New research carried out by Nick Jr, the popular digital preschool TV channel, shows that despite their reputations as fussy little eaters, British kids are in fact incredibly adventurous in their tastes, with parents claiming that by the age of five, children have tried everything from Chinese to Spanish and even Sushi.

The Nick Jr. study, which questioned over 1,000 parents found that whilst sausage, egg and chips might have been good enough for tea in their day, today’s mums and dads are passing on their love of international cuisines to their offspring. The reign of chicken tikka masala as our national dish looks set to continue, with 45% of children sampling Indian food. It also appears that the influence of Spain and France as top family holiday destinations extends to eating habits, a quarter of under fives have tried Spanish fare and over one in five have tasted French cuisine.

A clear regional divide is evident in the popularity of certain cuisines, with Scots leading the way on Chinese food - a huge 70% of Scottish under fives have eaten this Asian favourite, well above the national average of 58% and making it the most popular choice. Welsh respondents embrace Italian fare with 69% opting for this kid friendly food and perhaps unsurprisingly given the wealth of balti houses in the area, Midlands under fives are the biggest fans of Indian food with over half trying a curry.

The report also revealed just how much tastes have changed over the years, with parents aged 16-24 five times more likely to feed their little ones Mexican fahitas or Thai dishes than parents aged 55 plus, ensuring these cuisines are the fastest growing food choices in the UK today.

Bottom of the table is Sushi with an average of 3%, indicating that no matter how fashionable a cuisine might be amongst parents, kids are rarely tempted by the offer of raw fish.

With one in five parents claiming their kids haven’t tried any of the cuisines listed, there are still clearly some traditional ‘meat and two veg’ fans out there, particularly in Yorkshire where a quarter of parents surveyed claim their little ones stick to British fare.

Siobhan Freegard, founder of comments on the study findings: ‘The results of this survey prove that today’s parents are doing a great job of introducing their kids to international flavours at a young age and encouraging them to be adventurous with their food choices. We all know it’s important for families to eat together and if they can find a cuisine everyone loves this can make mealtimes a whole lot easier for mums and fun for all concerned.’

Notes to editors

The research for Nick Jr. was carried out by between 15.06.07 and 25.06.07 amongst a nationally representative sample of 1295/836 parents UK adults aged 16+

Nick Jr. is available on Sky 618, Virgin TV 715 and Tiscali TV

News from Discovery Real Time


LONDON, SEPTEMBER 18, 2007 - LOUIS Molloy, star of Discovery Real Time’s new show London Ink (10pm from 23rd Sept) has unveiled the UK ’s newest urban landmark – a gigantic, life-like statue of a man swimming through the grass next to Tower Bridge.

Louis, best known for being David Beckham’s personal tattooist and ‘inking’ the world’s most famous tattoo, his guardian angel, will add the finishing touches to the mammoth tattoo design.

In quirky Brit style Louis has created a tattoo motif of a beautiful Koi Carp lying on a bed of traditional fish and chips and splattered with salt and vinegar. He said: “The aim of the London Ink show is to make tattoos mainstream and change the stereotype of tattoos as only being for criminals and sailors. The huge statue is sure to be a major draw for tourists and Londoners, and get everyone talking about, and changing their opinions of tattoos.”

Reminiscent of movie ‘Attack of the 50 Ft Woman’ the statue at Tower Bridge is 46 feet long by 10 feet high and made out of reinforced polystyrene and hand painted to resemble human flesh.

The swimmer figure will be joined on Friday by a model of a giant-sized female crawling across the concourse at Victoria Station as she squeezes into a photo booth.

London Ink launches on Discovery Real Time on Sunday 23 September at 10pm.
About London Ink
London Ink is a cross between reality TV and a docu-soap that follows the drama of Britain's most exciting tattoo studio. The show shadows the fiery relationships between some of the country's best tattooists - mentored by Louis Molloy. The real life stories of people who come in to get tattooed offer a fascinating insight into why people get inked.

London Ink is the British arm of Discovery Real Times’ Ink franchise which kick-started with highly successful US series Miami Ink, now in its third series. LA Ink has also just finished filming in Los Angeles.

About Louis Molloy
Louis Molloy, is best known for being Beckham's tattooist. Louis has a long list of celebrity clients having 'inked' many of Britain's sporting heroes from Becks to Freddie Flintoff and Ian Wright. His great relationship with the Beckham's saw him ink the world's most photographed tattoo - Beckham's gigantic Guardian Angel, a tattoo he has been asked to repeat many times for members of the public the world over. From this first meeting he forged a strong bond with the couple and has tattooed Beckham another eleven times and Victoria as well. He has also tattooed other Brit pop stars and soap stars.

Photo call
Date: Tuesday 18th September
Time: 9.30am for a 9.45am start
Location: Pottersfield, Tower Bridge (between the mayor’s building and the bridge), SE1

The statues
The statue will be unveiled on 18th September and remain at the South Bank until 28th September when it will be moved to Greenwich. The statue at Victoria station will remain on Concourse One until the start of October.

News from Seven Dials

Rip and Run – art in motion

Collecting art has never been so free and easy. For the very first time in the UK, art lovers can ‘Rip and Run’, an exciting new way of making the art world easily accessible. Works from five of the country’s most exciting up and coming artists and illustrators will be showcased in one of the most fashionable pockets of London, Seven Dials.

This pioneering new concept takes its name from the fact that artwork can literally be ripped from its mount and taken away for people to do as they please, whether it’s to decorate the bedroom, bar, office or dorm- giving everybody the opportunity to run away with their very own Henry Holland or Michael Pybus.

Seven Dials has collaborated with five emerging artists and designers from the style bible, Dazed and Confused, to produce a series of five limited edition posters. From the 18th until the 22nd September, London’s sexiest shopping destination will be host to a series of oversized post-it style pads appearing in secret locations around the area. Only fifty limited edition pieces from each artist will be available to those in the know, to rip and run for five days.

Each day will see a different artist’s work exhibited in a series of ten locations in Seven Dials. Which artist it will be will only be disclosed to friends of Seven Dials the day before each piece of work is unveiled. The Dazed artists include familiar names such as Henry Holland, famous for the House of Holland T-shirt designs that have recently been adorned by the likes of Giles Deacon and Gareth Pugh, David Saunders, founder of the outstanding ‘DavidDavid’ clothing range and former assistant to Tracy Emin and Michael Pybus.

Become a friend of Seven Dials at and be part of the UK’s first experiential rip and run movement that truly sets art in motion.

- ENDS -

Notes to Editor:

· Commissioned artists include:

Henry Holland

Manchester born designer, Henry Holland, first made headlines with his catchy, tongue in cheek T- shirts that celebrate and poke fun at celebrity folk. His Uhu Gareth Pugh and Get yer freak on Giles Deacon T-shirts triumphed the London runways during fashion week as Pugh and Deacon wore each others T-shirts to take their post-show bows. A BA graduate from the London College of Printing, Holland has already generated a cult following, with sales at major international stores including Colette in Paris, Barneys in New York and Harvey Nichols in London.

Kate Moross
Thanks to a strong right drawing arm, Kate Moross has received recognition for her work in the UK, and continues to work from her studio everyday. At the ripe old age of 21 Kate is trying not to overwork herself and now takes weekends off, the self confessed workaholic is hoping to knock a few years off her life, through her heavy work load and nicotine addiction. The end of this year will bring even more exciting collaborations, such as a Kate Moross for Topshop range, and her very own New Era design.

Michael Pybus

Michael Pybus graduated from Goldsmiths in 2004 and is currently studying fine art at the Royal College of Art. He incorporates a broad use of medium in his work using various media including, painting, collage, illustration and photography. He often incorporates all of these techniques into site-specific installations.

Pybus is an artist who is inspired by everything from old family photographs taken before he was born to 1980’s computer design through to today’s current obsession of terrorist threat and the Hollywood celebrity set. Pybus is fascinated by the romanticism of the past and simultaneously loves to explore shape and colour.

Matthew Green

Graphic Design artist Matthew Green graduated from Bath College of Art in 2002 and now owns his own creative studio. His darkly humorous and beautifully hand drawn illustrations has won him awards in his field of design and he will be showing in Paris and Berlin this autumn.

French is an artist and illustrator from Aldershot. He has a love of depicting all things evil, grotesque and morbid. An obsession with metal music informs French's work that literally draws the line between the magnificent and the repulsive. French’s sensitive and detailed line work celebrates and captures beauty within the shocking.

· The nearest tube stations to Seven Dials are Covent Garden or Leicester Square.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

News from npower

- New report issues warning to ‘dinosaur’ brands -

A groundbreaking study
[1], ‘The npower Challenger Brands Study 2008’, released today by energy provider, npower, reveals the eight ingredients that make up Britain’s best loved brands and issues a stark warning to some of the UK’s most established brands; including BA, British Gas and BT.

In ‘The npower Challenger Brands Study 2008’, many of the biggest and best known companies operating in the UK were subjected to an exclusive audit by 1,600 consumers and 150 marketing professionals to interrogate their brand personalities and uncover the traits that turn UK consumers on, and off. With 88% of UK adults saying they would be reluctant to buy from a brand they don’t identify with the study comes at a crucial time for British business.

‘The npower Challenger Brands Study 2008’ – the 8 ingredients for a successful challenger brand:

1. Strong Leadership
With their celebrity CEO’s it’s no surprise that 55% of respondents selected Virgin and Microsoft as the two brands with the strongest leadership skills. Interestingly, despite Stelios’s legacy, only 20% see Easyjet as a brand under strong leadership.

2. Listens
As consumers become more empowered it’s crucial that a brand is seen to be listening to its customers’ needs. 53% selected ‘come back king’ M&S as the brand most willing to listen while British Gas scored lowest for listening skills with only 8% of the vote.

3. Intelligent
As the underdog competitor to software giant, and near monopoly Microsoft, 54% cited Apple as the most intelligent brand for revolutionising the market by offering the creative alternative to Microsoft’s industry standards.

4. Innovative
Apple again came out top with 66% of the vote for its revolutionary products and innovative marketing. npower scored three times as highly as British Gas in the category for its sometimes unconventional, marketing campaigns, such as the first ever wind and solar ads.

5. Courage
34% paid tribute to Channel 4 as the second most courageous brand, beaten only narrowly by Virgin with a score of 41%.

6. Takes risks
Easyjet picks up 38% of the vote as a great example of a business with a risk-taking culture built within it. Some “Easy” risks have worked (Easyjet and EasyCruise) and some haven’t (Easycinema) but Stelios recognises that a brand has to carry on taking risks – even in the face of adversity. Debenhams, on the other hand, was perceived as the brand least likely to take risks.

7. Challenges
Virgin is crowned king of the challenger brands with 44% of the vote. The ‘old guard’ of established brands such as BA, British Gas and BT all scored lowest with just 3% of the vote. With 84% of respondents saying they prefer to buy from companies that ‘do things differently’ and six out of ten stating that they try to avoid overly dominant brands in a particular sector, the study highlights why it’s never been more important for businesses to challenge the status quo.

8. Maverick
When BA decided to ditch the Union Jack on the tail fins Virgin Airways spotted a great opportunity to hijack this icon and make it their own. It’s no surprise then that Virgin scores 12 times as highly as BA under this category. Similarly, npower recently demonstrated the brand’s youthful and irreverent spirit by hijacking ‘Sid’ – British Gas’s eighties brand icon – and bringing him to life via a cheeky brand campaign.

Threat to the establishment
Brands that fared less well in ‘The npower Challenger Brands Study 2008’ included some of Britain’s biggest and best known companies, including BA and BT, each of whom were perceived as ‘arrogant’ and ‘complacent’ by more than a third of UK consumers. Likewise heavyweight British institutions such as British Gas and ITV also came under criticism for their lack of agility, courage and failure to learn from their mistakes. However, giants who listen can come again. The reinvigorated M&S was the brand the British public could identify with most with a quarter (26%) saying M&S reflected their own values & identity.

David Molian, Cranfield School of Management faculty and brand consultant to npower, and one of the UK’s leading experts on challenger brand performance, says, “The npower Challenger Brands Study provides a compelling insight into brand identity and consumer perceptions. Today’s consumer is very brand-savvy. No business can afford to take its customers for granted. From the study we can see that the key ingredients for ‘challenger brand’ status are perceived intelligence, innovation, courage and strong leadership. British consumers have huge regard for businesses which they see as championing their interests – and won’t hesitate to slate brands which can’t meet expectations.”

Kevin Miles, MD of npower, who commissioned the research, says “As a young brand with high aspirations, npower commissioned the research to learn about the qualities and behaviour that creates a well respected, established challenger brand. One of the key insights was the need to understand your consumer and engage them in a personal and non-patronising way. At npower, we have always prided ourselves on our forward thinking approach, creating innovative and fresh marketing and comms campaigns that reflect our personality and brand principles at the same time”.

- ends -

For further information or if you are interested in an interview with either Kevin Miles, MD of npower or David Molian, brand consultant to npower, please contact:
Jo Chappel, Frank PR: Ph: 0207 693 7423 or
Nick McHugh, npower: Ph: or 01905 340 854 or

About npower
npower is the UK's largest electricity supplier and draws on 50 years experience in supplying electricity and gas. npower offers a range of essential home and business services to 6.8 million customers across the UK.

[1] The ‘npower Challenger Brand Study 2008’ was carried out by Tickbox in association with the Cranfield School of Management between 4th April and 23rd May 2007 on the following 24 leading brands operating in the UK: BA, Virgin, Easy Jet, British Gas, npower, PowerGen, Apple Microsoft, Sony, M&S, Debenhams, Primark, Adidas, Nike, Reebok, ITV, Sky, Channel 4, BT, Orange, Vodafone, Ford, Toyota and Skoda. Sample size: 1850 UK consumers and marketing professionals

Thursday, 6 September 2007

News from Brylcreem

Brylcreem casts new TV advert through MySpace

The grooming brand Brylcreem returns to TV screens with an advert cast through MySpace. The ‘effortless’ TV advertising campaign, created by WCRS, breaks on 8th September. Brylcreem Boys over the last 80 years include iconic British Stars, such as Dennis Compton and David Beckham. Joining the ranks is boy-next-door Sam, who will front Brylcreem’s ‘Effortless’ TV advertising campaign.

In a first for MySpace, Brylcreem found their hero in videos posted on the online community site. Father-of-two Sam Veale was chosen from a selection of clips showing effortlessly executed tricks performed by blokes from across the UK. Sam stars in the new Brylcreem advert directed by the highly acclaimed director Fredrik Bond – whose previous work includes adverts the likes of Adidas, Nike, Smirnoff, Lynx and Wrangler jeans – as well as directing Moby’s ‘Bodyrock’ music video.

Brylcreem also searched for a band to soundtrack the advert, inviting bands to upload a track onto the same site. The chosen track is by ‘B Raymond and the Voicettes’ – an unsigned band from Fife in Scotland who will be launched on the road to success with national exposure of their tune.

The advert, which shows a choreographed ‘effortless’ morning wake-up routine, is filmed as one whole sequence which is quite a feat given that Sam had to do a series of tricks that required perfect timing and genuine skill. It took 63 takes to get the finished advert and a ‘making of’ documentary will be premiered on MySpace along with the final ad on the 6th September . Out-takes from behind the scenes and of Sam’s journey to become the new Brylcreem boy will be shown on the new, revamped Brylcreem website, also live from 6th September (

Quotes attributed to Julie Baker, Marketing Director, Sara Lee Household & Body Care UK

Brylcreem is leading the way with new media and is the first brand to recruit an ad star from a social networking site. Sam is a new Brylcreem boy for a new generation who encapsulates the effortless theme perfectly. Normal blokes will be able to relate to him and his understated, straightforward style as well as wanting to have a go at the effortless tricks themselves.

Brylcreem has recently launched a new range called b:, targeting a slightly older market aged 20-30’s, giving our loyal customers who’ve used Brylcreem through their teens and early twenties a hairstyling product that delivers for the next stage of their life. The b: range takes hairstyling back to basics with a ‘less is more’ philosophy focusing on simplicity and an effortless approach to grooming.

News from Brylcreem

Brylcreem go for the juggler to launch new Advertising campaign

Just four months ago 34-year-old Sam Veale enjoyed a career as a party entertainer. Over the coming weeks Sam is putting down his juggling clubs and preparing for a life of fame, having been selected through My Space to win a lucrative advertising deal as the latest Brylcreem Boy.

Brylcreem Boys over the last 80 years include iconic British Stars, such as Dennis Compton and David Beckham. Joining the ranks is boy-next-door Sam, who will front Brylcreem’s ‘Effortless’ TV advertising campaign.

In a UK first, MySpace launched the search to recruit the new Brylcreem star, by asking men across the UK to upload clips of effortlessly executed tricks. Natural trickster Sam shone at an early stage and after beating off some fierce competition won the chance to become the new face of the brand.

The father of two from London started juggling after finishing University to pay back his student debts; this latest opportunity sees these skills, amongst others in a choreographed ‘effortless’ morning wake-up routine. In one-take, with no camera trickery Sam manoeuvres around obstacles whilst turning on TV’s with footballs, pouring drinks with no hands and much much more.

The quirky soundtrack to the advert comes courtesy of Scottish funksters ‘B Raymond and the Voicettes’, also recruited through MySpace.

Catch Sam’s premiere on MySpace on 6th September and on TV from the 8th

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

News From Fila

Fila Make Six Figure Investment in SS 08 Footwear Business

Fila is set to strengthen and develop its presence within the footwear market for SS 08 with a six figure investment in its most comprehensive footwear collection to date. The development of the Fila footwear collection has particular emphasis on the Vintage and Gold footwear collections that will offer a focused range that has synergy with the successful clothing lines. The success of the 2007 advertising campaign is a driving force for increasing the investment for 2008.

Distribution for the footwear collections will be aligned with the apparel; targeting fashion independents and key multiple footwear retailers that offer more directional product. To support the focus in their footwear business, Fila UK has already appointed a footwear category manager and will be adding a product development manager to the team to ensure the brand is really stepping up to the demands of the market.

Key styles span from White Line, 80’s inspired court and running originals, a fashion led Gold range to more off the wall vintage Basketball pieces. The Fila footwear collection fuses its heritage in tennis, running, basketball and motor sports to inspire its eye catching collection. Printed patents, stylish colourways and a 1970’s aesthetic will cement Fila as a major player in the footwear arena while keeping designs on trend with their signature sporty casuals look.

Fila UK Marketing Manager, Marc Travis says ‘Fila are looking to further strengthen the International and UK brand positioning following the success of the Vintage and Gold apparel by producing a strong complimentary footwear collection that works across all product categories. We predict this investment will produce a positive effect across Europe and with both current and potential Fila stockists’.

Notes to Editors:
· Selected styles to be available at JD Sports and independent retailers nationwide.
· Wholesale prices range between £ 20.00 - £ 35.00

News From Amstrad

Not for release, publication or distribution in whole or in part in, into or from any jurisdiction where to do so would constitute a violation of the relevant laws of such jurisdiction

a wholly-owned subsidiary of

On 31 July 2007, Sky Digital Supplies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sky, made a recommended cash offer (with a Loan Note Alternative) for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Amstrad.
On 24 August 2007, the Office of Fair Trading announced that the Offer does not create a relevant merger situation under the provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002.
As at 3.00 p.m. (London time) on 4 September 2007, valid acceptances of the Offer had been received in respect of a total of 74,564,685 Amstrad Shares, representing approximately 89.49 per cent. of the existing issued share capital of Amstrad.
The directors of Sky Digital Supplies are pleased to announce that all of the conditions of the Offer have now been satisfied or waived. Accordingly, the Offer has been declared unconditional in all respects.
On 31 July 2007, the directors of Sky Digital Supplies announced that they had received irrevocable undertakings and a letter of intent to accept the Offer in respect of 37,306,097 Amstrad Shares, representing approximately 44.8 per cent. of the existing issued share capital of Amstrad. Valid acceptances have been received in respect of all of these Amstrad Shares.
The Offer will remain open for acceptance until further notice and remains subject to the terms set out in the Offer Document.
Amstrad Shareholders who have not yet accepted the Offer and who hold Amstrad Shares in certificated form are urged to complete, sign and return the Form(s) of Acceptance by hand (during normal business hours) or by post as soon as possible to Capita Registrars at Corporate Actions, The Registry, 34 Beckenham Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 4TU. Additional Forms of Acceptance are available from Capita Registrars by telephoning 0870 162 3121 or, if calling from outside the UK, on +44 208 639 3399. If you hold your Amstrad Shares in uncertificated form (that is, in CREST) you are urged to accept the Offer by TTE Instructions as soon as possible.
Settlement of the consideration due under the Offer will be effected on or before 19 September 2007 for Amstrad Shareholders who have already validly accepted the Offer. Settlement for Amstrad Shareholders who validly accept the Offer after the date of this announcement will be effected within 14 days of receipt of their valid acceptance.
Sky Digital Supplies intends, as soon as practicable once sufficient acceptances have been received, to apply the provisions of sections 979 to 982 (inclusive) of the Companies Act 2006 to acquire compulsorily any outstanding Amstrad Shares to which the Offer relates.
Sky Digital Supplies also intends, when practicable, to procure that Amstrad applies to the UK Listing Authority for the cancellation of listing of Amstrad Shares on the Official List and to the London Stock Exchange for cancellation of admission to trading of Amstrad Shares on its market for listed securities.
Terms used in this announcement shall have the meaning given to them in the Offer Document, unless the context requires otherwise.

For further information on Sky and Amstrad, please see and, respectively.
This announcement does not constitute, or form part of, an offer or solicitation of any offer to sell or an invitation to purchase any securities or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, pursuant to the Offer or otherwise. The Offer will be made solely by the Offer Document and the Form of Acceptance, which contain the full terms and conditions of the Offer, including details of how the Offer may be accepted. Any acceptance or other response to the Offer should be made on the basis of the information in the Offer Document and the Form of Acceptance.
The availability of the Offer to persons who are not resident in the United Kingdom may be affected by the laws of the relevant jurisdictions in which they are located. Persons who are not resident in the United Kingdom should inform themselves about, and observe, any applicable legal or regulatory requirements.
The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in jurisdictions other than the UK may be restricted by law and therefore any persons who are subject to the laws of any jurisdiction other than the UK should inform themselves about, and observe, any applicable requirements. Any failure to comply with the applicable requirements may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. This announcement has been prepared for the purpose of complying with English law and the Code and the information disclosed may not be the same as that which would have been disclosed if this announcement had been prepared in accordance with the laws of jurisdictions outside the UK.
Any person (including, without limitation, any custodian, nominee or trustee) who would, or otherwise intends to, or who may have a contractual or legal obligation to, forward this announcement and/or the Offer Document and/or any other related document to any jurisdiction outside the UK should inform themselves of, and observe, any applicable legal or regulatory requirements of their jurisdiction.
Further details in relation to overseas shareholders are contained in the Offer Document.
Merrill Lynch is acting exclusively as financial adviser to Sky and Sky Digital Supplies and no one else in connection with the Offer and this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Sky and Sky Digital Supplies for providing the protections afforded to clients of Merrill Lynch, nor for providing advice in connection with the Offer or this announcement or any matter referred to in this announcement.
Rothschild is acting exclusively as financial adviser to Amstrad and no one else in connection with the Offer and this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Amstrad for providing the protections afforded to clients of Rothschild, nor for providing advice in connection with the Offer or this announcement or any matter referred to in this announcement.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

News from


86% of drivers agree with the DVLA's plan to re-test drivers when they turn 70, according to a poll by insurance price comparison site

A spokesperson says, "Clearly Britain's motorists see this as a way to make the roads safer, reducing accidents and perhaps their insurance premiums."

For more information, call: Jo Tubbs 020 7693 6999 /
Notes to Editors: Poll conducted on Tuesday 4th September, 2007 on, in response to possibility of DVLA re-testing drivers when they turn 70 years old

News From Virgin Money


Research reveals Eiffel Tower and Stonehenge top blacklist of most disappointing sightseeing spots

The Eiffel Tower and Stonehenge are the tourist ‘hotspots’ that leave the most Brits cold, according to research by Virgin Travel Insurance that reveals the most disappointing sights at home and abroad.

More than five million people visit the Eiffel Tower every year, but almost a quarter of British tourists have dubbed the world-famous Paris landmark a flop.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in the Louvre, New York’s Times Square, and Las Ramblas in Barcelona all feature in the top ten foreign spots that fail to live up to our expectations, while The Angel of the North, Blackpool Tower, and the Princess Diana Memorial make the blacklist in the UK.

The findings have been explained by travel expert Felice Hardy, who suggested reasons why Brits gave certain landmarks the thumbs down, and warned that visiting some of the world’s most popular sightseeing spots was often more likely to leave us feeling stressed out and ripped-off, than inspired, thanks to pickpockets, endless crowds and expensive ticket prices.

She claimed Brits might be turned off by worst offender the Eiffel Tower because it was 'frustratingly overcrowded and overpriced’, and admitted that many would consider Stonehenge ‘just a load of old rocks’. She branded the Mona Lisa ‘disappointingly small’ and marked down Blackpool Tower for being ‘a forlorn monument to yesterday’.

Instead, Hardy reckons we should be using our imagination and heading off the beaten track to find the ‘wow factor’, and suggested hidden gems abroad such as the Treasury at Petra in Jordan, the Tarako Gorge in Taiwan, and the Cappadoccia Caves in Turkey. Closer to home, Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, Holkham Bay in Norfolk and The Isle of Skye in Scotland are among the best of Britain’s tourist sights.

“It’s easy to be swayed by brochures that opt for the mainstream and focus on clichéd tourist sights around the world, but many of them are overcrowded and disappointing,” says Hardy.

“Pick carefully and don’t always go for the obvious - natural phenomena are usually more exciting than the man-made, and can be wonderfully free of tourists.”

Jason Wyer-Smith, spokesperson for Virgin Travel Insurance, who commissioned the report, adds:

“ It seems thousands of Brits are returning from their hard earned holidays feeling a bit let down when famous tourist spots don’t live up to expectation. The key to holiday heaven could well be seeking out the hidden gems rather than joining the crowds in holiday hell.”

See the full blacklist of Virgin Travel Insurance’s Most Disappointing Sightseeing Spots, along with Felice Hardy’s comments, below:



1. The Eiffel Tower
In 1889 it was no doubt a miraculous and illuminating achievement, but then so too were the automobile and the electric light bulb. Frustratingly overcrowded and overpriced. If you like nuts and bolts, you’ll get more fun from a Meccano set.

2. The Louvre (Mona Lisa)
A disappointingly small painting permanently framed by a capacity audience of tourists straining to block your view. Dan Brown must share the blame with Da Vinci – his book has doubled the crowds.

3. Times Square
A Disney World without Cinderella’s Castle, but with extra side orders of neon that makes the head spin uncomfortably. As a revamped centre for family fun it’s better now than the seedy vice centre it became in the 1970s. But it fails to recapture the glamour of the 1920s when it was the entertainment capital of America.

4. Las Ramblas, Spain
The Covent Garden of Barcelona suffers from an increasing lack of attention to quality control. Spanish poet Frederico Garcia Lorca described it as ‘the only street in the world that I wish would never end.’ All too often these days a tourist trip ends in a visit to the police station to report pickpocketed wallet or even a daylight mugging.

5. Statue of Liberty
Unlike the seaborne passage of millions of 20th-century immigrants, who glimpsed it before being processed at nearby Ellis Island on their way to the Land of the Free, it’s simply not worth the journey. Access to Liberty herself is restricted. Visitors these days are not permitted to reach the crown or the torch.

6. Spanish Steps, Rome
Whatever way you look at it the Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti, which takes its more popular name from the 19th-century Spanish Embassy in a nearby palace, is just an outdoor staircase. In mid-summer its 138 steps become a communal park bench for backpackers and other foot-weary pedestrians.

7. The White House
Deceptively small in appearance – it looks more like a Lego model than the real thing – even though it does have 132 rooms and 32 bathrooms. Free tours of a limited amount of rooms ­(mainly state dining rooms) are possible, but not the Oval Office or anywhere else of interest. You can, if you like, ask questions of the Secret Service Tour Officer positioned in every room, like: “Which way to the exit?”

8. The Pyramids, Egypt
The Great Pyramid is the only one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World still in existence. All the others were destroyed by earthquake, arson, or Christian Crusaders. Pity, because the Hanging Gardens of Babylon would have been much more interesting – and considerably cooler. Heat, hawkers and camel drivers combine to make any visit an overwhelmingly stressful ordeal.

9. The Brandenburg Gate
The triumphal arch built in the late 18th century to celebrate a Prussian victory was ironically dubbed the Gate of Peace. It became an Icon of the Iron Curtain when it was built into the Berlin Wall in 1961. T our guides will tell you that the arch is now an icon of unification. Actually, it’s still a rather dull 18th-century arch. Don’t buy a chunk of die Mauer – the Wall – from a street vendor. It won’t be genuine.

10. The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Thanks to British engineering skills in a £20million rescue operation, the 12th-century bell tower no longer leans at quite such an extreme angle and visitors can again climb its 294 steps. Its reopening – it was closed to the public for safety reasons in1990 – will rekindle some interest. But as it is now unlikely collapse for at least 300 years so there’s no need to hurry to visit.


1. Stonehenge
No one knows why it is here or what it was built for 4,000 years ago. Similarly, thousands of annual visitors now ask themselves: “Why am I here?” Stonehenge is an isolated pile of rocks in a usually muddy field marking the junction of the traffic-laden A303 and A344. It’s just a load of old rocks.

2. Angel of the North
Affectionately known as The Gateshead Flasher, this 20-metre £1- million steel angel has a wingspan of 55 metres. The whole windswept sculpture at the entrance to Tyneside is anchored by a base of 165 tons of concrete. The Angel briefly looked more worldly in1998 when jokers clothed it in a No.9 Alan Shearer football shirt.

3. Blackpool Tower
It’s an ersatz copy of the Eiffel Tower with its base steeped in fairground attractions and an amusement arcade. Time was when the tower was the central attraction of the most popular seaside resort in Britain. Now it stands as forlorn monument to yesterday. The bulk of British beach tourists have long since gone abroad in search of sunshine.

4. Lands’ End
The ancient Cornish called it appropriately the End of the Earth and, unless you happen to have just walked or cycled from John o’ Groats, it’s probably the last place you want to be. Depending on your direction it is the first or final place in England, but most of the rest of the country is more appealing.

5. Princess Diana Memorial Fountain
The fountain that resembles a colourless wet skateboard park has received a drenching from its critics since it opened in 2004 (and regularly closed for maintenance). It begs the question: just how relevant is it to Diana’s memory?

6. The London Eye
The queues are huge and when you finally get on this Ferris Wheel, it goes too slowly to offer any form of excitement. On dull and rainy days, of which in London there are many, the slowly revolving view is as fascinating as watching paint dry.

7. Brighton Pier
Slot machines, low-key theme park rides, and fast food stands dominate what at its rusting heart remains a classic Edwardian seaside structure. To say that its owners lack imagination in its current development is being polite.

8. Buckingham Palace
They’ve been changing the guard at Buckingham Palace since long before Christopher Robin went down with Alice. These days the ceremony is so crowded that, unless you get there hours early, your view will be restricted to the back of a head in front of you. Some of the state rooms are open to the public – but only in August and September when the Queen is in Scotland – and entry is an expensive £15. The White House may be less impressive, but at least it’s free.

9. White Cliffs of Dover
You can see them from the Prince of Wales pier or better from a cross-Channel ferry. Dame Vera Lynn sang famously in WWII of bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover, but screeching seagulls are your more likely companions. Once you’ve seen them, you’ve…er…seen them.

10. Big Ben
To be minutely precise, Big Ben is the name of the big bell inside the tower of the Houses of Parliament adjoining Westminster Bridge, and not the clock at all. Once you’ve seen it, you’ll know what time it is – time to go somewhere else. The only way to get inside is to arrange a visit through your local MP.



1. The Treasury at Petra, Jordan
The feeling of coming face to face with The Treasury – a 45-metre high by 25-metre wide temple hewn out of the limestone – after winding along the 1200-metre corridor is so fantastic that you almost believe you have come across a hidden city that no one has yet discovered.

2. The Grand Canal, Venice, Italy
Just as Canaletto painted it. Gondolas ply their way along the main artery of Europe’s most fascinating city, flanked by magnificent restored palazzos. Smaller canals and a fascinating maze of narrow alleyways lead off on both sides.

3. The Masai Mara, Kenya
Nothing prepares you for the sounds and scents of the African bush and nowhere on earth is nature so prolific. The Big Five of lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino hug the limelight. But it is the supporting cast of giraffe, zebra, hippo, wildebeest and cheetah that help make any safari a success. A hot-air-balloon ride is one of the best ways to see the area – it’s environmentally friendly and gives a completely different perspective of the animals. Sunrise and sunset over the Mara is not to be missed.

4. Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
Climbing 134m to the top girder of Sydney Harbour Bridge provides a bird’s-eye view of the city. The feeling of achievement is as strong as the breeze whipping through your protective suit. Anyone can do it, but stepping out onto the first horizontal span induces a feeling of vertigo. However, an ingenious running karabiner allows you to be permanently hooked by a wire to a safety rail throughout the climb. Once you are out over the water all feelings of fear are left behind as the map of Sydney unfolds beneath you.

5. Taroko Gorge, Taiwan
Mornings start early at Taroko Gorge if you are to walk any of the trails before it becomes too hot and humid. The 2km-long Paiyang trail includes clambering through tunnels and a cave, which goes under and behind a waterfall, where it ‘rains’ inside. Bats squeal and reel above as you teeter along the narrow ledge trying not to fall into the deep water. Taroko Gorge was the backdrop for the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and JK Rowling would love it here.

6. Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, Australia
One of the unsung wonders of the Red Centre, a giddy rock formation as great as Ayers Rock (now renamed Uluru), but one that has so far escaped commercial exploitation. Kings Canyon at sunset provides an optical feast. Take the Rim Walk – the views from the top are dizzy-making, the plant life abundant, and the rock colours of fiery red, ochre, burnt umber and charcoal are spectacular.

7. Cappadoccia caves, Turkey
This is one of the world’s most ancient inhabited areas, with a bizarrely beautiful landscape that stretches back 60 million years. Fierce volcanic activity, coupled with river and wind erosion, left a bizarre legacy of unusual rock formations in the Göreme region – known as ‘fairy chimneys’. Cave houses were carved out of the volcanic rock during the 19th century and today there are beautifully preserved and available for visitors to stay the night.

8. Lake Titicaca, Peru and Bolivia
It is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world at 3812m above sea level and is located in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia. The lake is so big – it measures 190km by 80km, with an average depth of 107m – that it can be seen from space. Some 27 rivers empty into the lake, and it has 41 islands.

9. Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia
Cable Beach is one of the finest beaches in the world; a sweeping 22km of perfect white sand fringed by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Broome itself was at the centre of the ‘Pearl Rush’ of the 1880s, when the discovery of mother-of-pearl brought brief fortune to the town.

10. Jungfraujoch, Switzerland
This is the greatest of all achievements of the Victorian railway pioneers, a rack-and-pinion mountain railway that takes you from Kleine Scheidegg, above the ski resorts of Wengen and Grindelwald, to the highest station in Europe at 3454m. The underground route passes behind the North Face of the Eiger. A window cut into the rock has been famously used by mountain guides to rescue injured climbers.


1. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
A glorious medieval castle that may seem foreboding, and certainly its history is full of drama and intrigue. It’s a recognisable film location from Harry Potter and Elizabeth, to Becket and Blackadder. The castle offers a wide range of attractions with excellent facilities and some engaging and entertaining tours.

2. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, County Antrim
For over 300 years, the rope bridge has provided local fishermen with the only means of access to Carrick-a-Rede Island. Locals and visitors wobble over the 30-metre chasm to test their nerve and head for heights – and take in the staggering scenery. A walk along the base of the cliffs towards the rope bridge will bring you past rare stalagmites and a small cave of calcite pillars before finally reaching the rope bridge.

3. The Royal Crescent, Bath
The Royal Crescent is a stunningly beautiful road of 30 houses, laid out in a crescent shape. It was built in the late 18th century and is among the finest examples of Georgian architecture found in Britain. The city is founded around the only natural hot springs in the UK and is a World Heritage site.

4. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Southwark, London
The Globe Theatre that Shakespeare knew was built in 1599 and burnt down in 1613 before being completely destroyed in 1644 to make room for tenement housing. In Elizabethan times it was a noisy, smelly place that would be crammed with up to 3,000 people. The reconstructed theatre opened in 1997 and, as in the original Globe, it is open to the sky and its stage projects into a large circular yard surrounded by three tiers of steeply stacked seating. The new building was designed to be as faithful a replica as possible and it certainly is very evocative, albeit without the smells. You can easily imagine what it must have been like when Shakespeare came to work here every day.

5. The Backs, Cambridge
This is the serene and unspoilt area where the most beautiful colleges of Cambridge University back onto the River Cam. From King's College Bridge you can get a glorious view of the college, founded in 1441 by Henry VI, and its famous gothic chapel. The River Cam runs beneath the bridge and this is a great spot from which to watch punts leisurely drifting by.

6. Holkham Bay, Norfolk
Unblemished sands stretch for seven miles across Norfolk’s unspoilt north coast, and when the tide is at its lowest it takes 20 minutes to walk to the sea. The beach is so photogenic it was used as a backdrop for the film Shakespeare in Love. Holkham is the largest nature reserve in Britain, incorporating salt marshes backed by pines and teeming with bird life.

7. Lyme Regis and the Jurassic Coast
The 95-mile-long area stretches from Orcombe Point near Exmouth in Devon to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in Dorset. It contains some unique geological features and includes examples of different landforms such as the natural arch at Durdle Door, and the cove and limestone folding at Lulworth Cove. Paleontologists from all over the world come here to study the 160-million-year-old fossils around Lyme Regis and Black Venn beach.

8. Tate St Ives
When you arrive in St Ives it is the unusual purity of the northern light that strikes you. This explains how an ancient fishing port near the Atlantic tip of Cornwall’s coast came to have such an effect on the development of painting in Britain during the second half of the 20th century. Art galleries abound in the narrow cobbled streets and the most famous is Tate St Ives, which sits in a dramatic position on Porthmeor Beach and is designed to show works of art in the surroundings in which they were created.

9. Isle of Skye, Scotland
The largest and most northerly island in the Inner Hebrides has some extremely spectacular scenery of cliffs and caves, and abundant wildlife including the golden eagle, sea eagles, red deer and the otter.

10. The Eden Project
Nothing prepares you for your first glimpse into the 200-ft depths of Bodelva pit in the industrial heartland of mid-Cornwall. Inevitably, the Eden Project can never be more than a parody of paradise, but it is a pretty powerful one. The pit is covered by more than the species of plants on the planet - The Wow! factor kicks in as you approach the viewing platform, and focal point is on the two giant latticed domes – one of them is big enough to house the Tower of London – that form the largest greenhouses on earth.

-- Ends --

Monday, 3 September 2007

News from Bennetts....


Wednesday is officially the most dangerous day for bikers to take to the road according to statistics released today by Bennetts, the UK’s number one for motorcycle insurance*.

Published today, the Bennetts annual report into biking accidents reveals that one in six accidents occur on a Wednesday and one in seven involve a Ford Focus. The most surprising statistic from the report reveals that Sunday, traditionally the most popular day for bikers to meet up and ride, is the safest day to be on the roads.

Based on actual claims data, the hard-hitting findings show that the Ford Focus replaces the Vauxhall Corsa as the car most likely to be involved in a collision with a bike. This year, Ford takes the top three spots with the Focus, Fiesta and Transit becoming the most dangerous vehicles for bikers to look out for and avoid.

Almost a quarter of biking accidents in the Midlands involve a Focus, the South is the region most susceptible to accidents involving Ford Fiestas and almost 20% of incidents in London, home of the white van man, involve a Ford Transit.

The report also reveals that the capital is the most dangerous place to ride a bike, with 63% of all motorbike accidents happening in London. South West London is the most hazardous area within the capital for the third year running with 16% of the country’s accidents occurring there. Birmingham and Portsmouth are the riskiest cities outside London with 10% of all accidents taking place in both regions.

Whilst Wednesday is the most dangerous day of the week, spring appears to be the most dangerous time of year to ride a motorcycle. In stark contrast to last year’s findings, the worst dates on the calendar for biking accidents are 14th March and 2nd May with an 166% increase in claims on these days based on this year’s average. This is a dramatic change to last year when 29th September was named the most treacherous day for taking to the road.

Marketing Director of Bennetts, Mark Fells said of the findings; “Our annual report highlights the dangers that exist for bikers on the road from other road users, to the region you live in and even down to what day of the week is proving to be most hazardous for bikers to venture out. We hope that by releasing these statistics, all road users become much more aware of each other and ultimately help to reduce the number of accidents occurring everyday on our roads. ”

Source: BISL Limited August 2007

* Based on independent research conducted in July 2006


For further information please contact Katie Raven, Emily Dwiar or Barbara Feeney at Frank PR on 020 7693 6999 or email

Bennetts is a trading name of BISL Limited, Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough, PE2 6YS. Registered in England No. 3231094.

BISL Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Bennetts was established in Coventry by the Bennetts family in 1930 to provide insurance services to people throughout the West Midlands.

· In the early 1980’s Bennetts decided to devise a number of specialist insurance schemes that would meet the needs of different types of biker. These schemes are constantly reviewed to give bikers the exact cover they need.

· In 2000 Bennetts was the first motorcycle insurance specialist to offer the ability to buy insurance online, through its website,

In October 2001, the Bennetts brand was acquired by the BGL Group (formerly the Budget Group of Companies), through its purchase of the Dial Direct Group, a major UK car insurance intermediary.

· The BGL Group was established in 1992, and has grown to be the UK’s third largest personal lines insurance intermediary, through a combination of organic growth and a series of major strategic acquisitions.

The BGL Group now arranges and administers insurance for around 1,200,000 customers and has contact centre operations in Peterborough, Coventry, Sunderland and Cape Town, South Africa. It currently employs 2255 people and its head office is in Peterborough.

In May 2003, Bennetts unveiled its new brand identity to the industry.

Bennetts became personal sponsor of former World Superbike Champion Neil Hodgson in May 2003.

In June 2004 and again in June 2006, independent brand tracking research identified Bennetts as the UK’s number one brand for motorcycle insurance.

In January 2005, Bennetts signed the biggest sponsorship deal in the history of the brand by becoming title sponsor of the 2005 Bennetts British Superbike Championship. Bennetts continued its sponsorship of the British Superbike Championship in 2006 and 2007.

· In June 2007, Bennetts became official series sponsor of the World Superbike Championship for the remainder of the 2007 championship and for the whole of the 2008 championship.

· Bennetts became personal sponsor of current World Superbike Championship leader James Toseland in July 2007.

News from Eat Natural....

Stuff the kids love...

This summer, kids have been rolling up their sleeves and getting dirty, not by messing around in the mud but rather by donning aprons and caps for a UK food company.

Eat Natural, the UK’s favourite snack bar has enlisted the help of a group of children to help create a new dedicated kids line, ‘Eat Natural Lunchies’, wholesome snack bars ‘stuffed with fruit’ (but ‘no nuts’), and importantly developed by kids for kids.

Getting kids into the boardrooms of UK business is not a new thing. Toy and PC manufacturers have been working with children for years to test new products but never before has a food brand set up a dedicated and permanent ‘Kidsboard’ to develop permanent lines on-shelf.

The ‘Eat Natural Kidsboard’ is a group of eight kids, boys and girls, aged between seven and 13, with a very genuine interest in food and cooking, who are fed up with snacking on “grown-up” snack bars – and know a thing or two about what’s good for them.

Recipes developed by the Eat Natural Kidsboard from scratch at the Eat Natural Makery, based in Halstead, Essex, will go on-shelf at UK supermarkets across the UK later this Autumn and the Kidsboard will also have their own “stamp of approval”, ABC – Approved By Children – which will be printed on any Eat Natural bars that they have helped to create.

Praveen Vijh, co-founder of Eat Natural says: ‘The problem is that the average age of the team here at Eat Natural is, shall we say…past school age! While we’d all like to think we’re big kids at heart, we are a few years removed from those we’re creating the bars for. It made perfect sense to create a Kidsboard when we wanted to develop kids food.’

Praveen continues, ‘If we’re going to make bars for kids then it should be the kids who tell us what they’d like in them and how they’d like them made. Adults often underestimate how much children really do know about good food and how it looks and tastes.’

The Eat Natural Kidsboard will be an ongoing initiative used to create bars by the kids for the kids. They are increasingly savvy and know exactly what they want…so who better to be the ones to advise!

- Ends -

To talk to a member of the Eat Natural Kidsboard or Eat Natural co-founder Praveen,
please contact Frances Lees or Lucy Sadler on 020 7693 6999
or email

One-to-one masterclasses can also be pre-arranged at the Eat Natural Makery in Essex

Notes to Editor:

Down at the Eat Natural Makery, we reckon that making delicious fruit and nut bars is pretty straightforward.

We make sure that we only ever use the best possible ingredients...stuff that is sourced from like-minded growers around the world, who believe, like us, that real taste comes naturally...not from dodgy additives.

We always keep our recipes beautifully simple, so you can really taste what’s in there...and we make the bars in small batches too, so that every one is made with the same love and care.

We’d like to think it’s just how you’d do it yourself, in your own kitchen.

Simple idea. Simple recipes. Simple ingredients.

Simple...isn't it?

Eat Natural bars are available in all major supermarkets and leading independents and specialists across the UK.

To find out more, go to

News from FootLocker....

Foot Locker and Puma celebrate YO! MTV Raps inspired sneakers for Autumn 2007

Launching exclusively at Foot Locker in September, these exclusive sneakers will honour the fathers of the Golden Age of Hip-Hop - DJ Cash Money and Doug. E Fresh.

Together with Puma’s signature Clyde silhouette, Foot Locker has embraced Hip-Hop style and street culture to create an exclusive sneaker inspired by each iconic artist. The result is two exceptional sneaker styles that will be exclusive to Foot Locker and destined to become true collectables.

The Doug E Fresh sneaker takes inspiration from this beat box legends’ song ‘All the Way to Heaven’. With black patent leather and baby blue stitching this stylish sneaker boasts the song’s title printed in the lining. The Yo! MTV raps logo – an icon from MTVs Raps show in the 80s - is featured prominently on the tongue of the sneaker, as is the ‘Doug E’ signature.

The elaborate DJ Cash Money sneaker is fitting to his name - decadently detailed with dollar signs and accented with hunter green patent leather. DJ Cash is printed on the right tongue and ‘Money’ on the left.

Doug E. Fresh and DJ Money will be hosting a unique one off set at Foot Locker 363-367 Oxford Street on the 15th September from 3pm. The event will see the launch of the new sneakers and will give guests the chance to experience the iconic hip-hop that inspired the collection.

This launch puts Foot Locker once again at the forefront of sneaker originality, bringing sneaker aficionados the latest and greatest from the biggest names on the planet. With more exclusives than ever before, sneaker lovers can always get their hands on the latest in street style at Foot Locker stores across the country. For more information, please visit


For all PR enquiries, samples and high res images contact Amy Hutchings at Frank PR 0207 693 6999:

News from Essensis...

95% of Women in Anglia are unhappy with the look and feel of their skin

Virtually all women in Anglia feel disillusioned with the state of their skin, according to new research revealed today for the launch of Essensis Good Skin Week.

The study showed that a staggering 95% of women feel their skin is far from perfect, and don’t like the look and feel of their skin. The team behind Essensis Good Skin Week are on a mission to change this.

Findings of the research show that the condition of their skin even impacts moods, with half of women admitting that having good skin makes them feel happy. Even more shocking is that 70% of women believe that to be considered beautiful you have to have healthy skin.

Key findings showed:
50% of women think good skin makes them attractive to men
97% of Women between the ages of 25 – 45 feel that their skin is not good for their age
Amongst the over 45 years only 10% of women feel that they have perfect skin for their age
More than 75% of women feel that having good skin is essential to boosting a woman’s confidence

Essensis Good Skin Week is challenging women in Anglia to find ways to bring out the best in their skin. Throughout the week beauty experts will be offering advice on how to care for your skin together with to chance to try the UK’s first ever beauty food, a delicious dairy product that thanks to it’s skin enhancing ingredients, nourishes your skin from within.

Skin savvy Anglian women do recognise that what you eat has a direct impact on how you look. A staggering 72% would rather choose a healthier balanced diet that nourishes skin from within, than spend time and money on sophisticated skin care regimes.

Skin expert from the International dermal Institute, Sally Penford, is joining forces with Essensis Good Skin week. She comments “These results clearly show that Anglia women take a no-nonsense approach to skincare and they are desperately looking for something that will help give them healthier skin with minimal fuss. I am hoping to be able to show them exactly how to do this with Essensis the UK’s first ever beauty food.”

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

*Survey conducted by Tickbox across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bucks, Beds and Herts in August 2007

Contact Katie Astaire @ Frank pr on 020 7693 6999 – for more information including:

· Case studies who took part in the survey
· Interview with Sally Penford, Skin Expert from the International Dermal Institute
· Skin analysis using state of the art technology

· For more information about Essensis go to or
· RRP: products from £1.69 for 4 pack
· *Based on consumption of two pots per day as part of a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle

News from Stony....


Every yummy mummy knows how much children love fromage frais, but at last, there is an organic option. ‘STONY – Yogurt on a mission™’ launches Lil’ Stony, its junior range in the UK, comprising a range of fromage frais especially for children from 6 months old, which are packed full of taste and organic goodness.

From the makers of the world’s best selling organic yogurt, Lil’ Stony provides bone building nutrients essential for young children’s growth, together with other important vitamins and minerals. Not only does Lil’ Stony taste so great that mums and kids will love it - but each Lil Stony is on a mission to create a healthy sustainable future, one Stony at a time.

Fromage frais products are the best choice for young digestive systems, and as every mother knows, fromage frais is recommended for babies over six months old because it is very gentle on their sensitive digestive systems.

Dr Sears, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, said “Babies, toddlers and children have tiny stomachs, so they don't often eat a lot at one time. This is why feeding them nutrient rich foods, such as fromage frais, is important to accommodate their ongoing growth spurts. As a growth food, fromage frais is packed with protein and calcium which is crucial for this age group and is the perfect way to ensure your child gets all the right nutrition he or she needs.”

Lil’ Stonies are cheeky chappies with a big mission to save the planet and they need the help of your little eco-warriors to do it! Using their sleeve wraps to act as billboards, they share their ideas and planet saving missions. There is no better time to introduce your mini planet protectors to the Lil’ Stonies and the mini-mission:

Downsize My Dribbling
Food dribbled is food wasted. I choose to reduce my tiny little carbon footprint by swallowing more and dribbling less.

The Lil’ Stony range offers low sugar, high fruit, wholemilk fromage frais, which are thick, spoonable and mess free– and available in four delicious flavours, Raspberry, Banana, Strawberry and Peach.

The products themselves are equally pioneering. Soil Association certified, all products are made from organic ingredients, including only rainforest alliance bananas, and contain absolutely no ‘yucky stuff’: no GM ingredients, no pesticides, no added colours and no preservatives – mums really can trust them!

The small pots are just the right size for our little planet protector’s hands and lunch boxes, so give your mini eco-warriors a treat and introduce them to Lil’ Stony organic fromage frais.
Patrick Holden of the Soil Association, says, “We are delighted to partner with the Lil’ Stony. It’s the next generation that will determine the way we live by the food we eat. The Soil Association is absolutely committed to educating children about organic foods as its benefits to our planet.”

Lil’ Stony is available from Wholefoods, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Ocado and Morrisons as well as local independents. Meet the Lil’ Stonies at

- Ends -

For product samples, photography or further information, please contact:

Kate Astaire on 020 7693 6999

Notes to editors:
*For more information about Stony go to

- RRP: products from 69p - £1.69

- ‘Stony, Yogurt on a Mission™’ launched in June 2007, with a mission to blaze a trail as the UK’s first healthy planet brand

- From July-December 2007 the Soil Association have teamed up to offer “An eco-family Weekend Getaway” to a lovely organic farm to three lucky families. See Lil’ Stony packs for details.

- One of the many actions we are taking is to support I Count. I Count is the campaign of Stop Climate Chaos, the ever-growing coalition of more than 50 organisations working to prevent further climate change, including WWF, Greenpeace, Oxfam, RSPB, Friends of the Earth, and many more. If we choose, we can make our politicians, at home and on the international stage, take the action needed. And that means making your voice, your actions, count.

- Stony’s first mission in the UK was to sponsor the world’s largest climate awareness event, Live Earth ™ on 7.07.07

- About Stony, Yogurt on a Mission
Stony, Yogurt on a Mission is part of the US-based Stonyfield Farm family, the world’s leading organic yogurt maker. The company advocates that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet. Stonyfield donates 10% of profits to protect and restore the environment and was America’s first dairy processor to pay farmers not to treat cows with the synthetic bovine growth hormone rBST. They are also America’s first manufacturer to offset 100 percent of its CO2 emissions from its facility energy use. For more information about Stony UK, its products and initiatives, visit or call 0207 693 6999.