Column Eight: Choc lady to be revealed

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The Independent Online
As the relationship between the power dresser and the yuppie in the coffee commercials on the television becomes more opaque, Cadbury intends this Christmas to provide a solution to a 25-year-old problem - the identity of the lady 'who loves Milk Tray'.

For years audiences have been fascinated by the James Bond-type who has fallen off mountains, jumped over castle walls and swum oceans to present a woman with a box of chocs. Cadbury describes his endeavours as 'impossible feats for an impossible woman'. It is to be hoped that they mean 'impossible' in the nicest possible sense, otherwise the commercial may have to be given an 18 rating.

Now here's an odd thing. Philips, who brought us the compact disc and changed our lives, is marketing the new Digital Compact Cassette. The advertisement shows a DCC about to be loaded on to its player - the opus, 'On Every Street' by Dire Straits. The band was to have been top of the initial list of 150 titles in the DCC format.

However there is a row of Byzantine proportions about royalties of one variety or another and Dire Straits appear to be distancing themselves from the new audio medium, producing a dire problem for the ad campaign.

Sir John Hall, who developed the MetroCentre, the shopping and leisure centre in Gateshead, appears to be more public-spirited than he might have realised.

After he had provided a load of soil for free from his estates to Durham County Cricket Ground, an enthusiastic metal detector discovered a bright, shiny object somewhere in the donated sod. It transpired that it was a medieval silver brooch, circa 13-14th century.

Doom and gloom from north of the border. The leading Edinburgh environmental lawyer Charles Smith warns that stiffer penalties for environmental pollution could be on the way from Europe. Knee-trembling stuff, which is what one might expect from his speech, sombrely entitled 'Long-term solutions for landfill leachate.'

A top name may be gracing the interiors of HM's holiday camps - the prisons. Instead of doing 'porridge' the inmates may be going 'muesli' class. Armitage Shanks, providers of superior urinals to more classy establishments, has developed a stainless steel convenience for installation in the cells to replace the current primitive arrangements. HM Prison Service is looking into it.

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