Wednesday, 28 May 2008

News from Virgin Media

Artist creates edible exhibition of top TV shows

EastEnders, a Dalek and Boris made with the nation’s favourite foods

Renowned food artist Prudence Emma Staite has unveiled the ultimate in TV dinners – artwork of the nation’s favourite TV shows made entirely from food. The works were commissioned by Virgin Media to mark the full launch of BBC iPlayer on their on-demand television service, the first time that viewers have been able to access the BBC iPlayer catch-up service via a TV platform.

The artwork will be part of an exhibition called ‘TV Dinners’ and uses the nation’s most popular foods to recreate famous scenes and characters from BBC programmes. The artwork includes the EastEnders’ River Thames title scene made from bangers n’ mash, The Weakest Link’s Anne Robinson out of cakes and biscuits and the Top Gear presenters using beans on toast.

In addition, Prudence has also immortalised a Dalek from Doctor Who using Spaghetti Bolognese and Have I Got News for You panellists Paul Merton and Ian Hislop – as well as London Mayor and former guest presenter Boris Johnson – from the ingredients of an Indian takeaway. The edible exhibition will be going on display next month at Virgin Media’s headquarters in Hook, Hampshire.

The pieces of art were commissioned by Virgin Media following research on the nation’s favourite TV dinners – and what TV viewers might eat whilst settling down to watch their favourite programmes. The survey, which canvassed the nation’s eating habits, shows that over a quarter of Brits (28%) eat dinner in front of the television every night. It also revealed sandwiches as the most common food eaten whilst on the sofa, followed by pizza and Spaghetti Bolognese. EastEnders, Coronation Street and Doctor Who were the most popular shows to watch with a TV dinner, with How to Look Good Naked the biggest turn-off for people to eat in front of.

Malcolm Wall, CEO of Content at Virgin Media, said: “Virgin Media customers have demonstrated a real appetite for on-demand content and we’ve been delighted by the response to the launch of BBC iPlayer on our TV platform. As BBC iPlayer becomes available through Virgin Media’s Electronic Programme Guide, we expect interest in and usage of our on-demand service to continue to grow strongly.”

Wall added, “We're proud to be able to serve up some of the best on-demand content on our customers' TV menu and just as everyone has different culinary tastes, we think it's important to offer a wide range of choice.”

The BBC iPlayer shows on Virgin Media ‘TV Dinners’ are:

‘Doctor Who’ – made from Spaghetti Bolognese and pasta shapes

‘The Weakest Link’ – teatime cakes including Battenberg cakes and biscuits

‘Top Gear’ – made from beans on toast

‘Have I Got News for You’– curry, rice and Naan bread

‘EastEnders’ – sausage, mash, chips and peas

BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media is available to its digital TV customers at no extra cost and is launching from next week through its Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) as well as currently through the red button whilst viewing a BBC channel. There are around 350 hours of content available per week - for more information, go to


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