Writer hopes to strike gold with tale of coffee-lovers

THE PAPERBACK sequel to the six-year advertising campaign featuring the tantalising relationship of the Gold Blend coffee couple goes on sale today.

Corgi has printed 350,000 copies of Love Over Gold, which seeks to flesh out the two-dimensional, 30-something characters with an almost unhealthy predeliction for caffeine.

Susannah James, who was commissioned by Nescafe to write the book, revealed at the press launch at the Ritz Hotel in London yesterday that, after 11 episodes screened in TV commercials and 343 pages contained in the book, the couple become lovers during a romantic interlude in Venice.

The book provides further evidence of the power of television adverts to create an overwhelming interest in the fictional characters created to sell products. Fly Fishing, by J R Hartley, a spin-off from the Yellow Pages TV advert, has already proved a bookshop success, while You've Got an Ology, the collected scripts of the BT adverts, published in 1989, also capitalised on the popularity of the Jewish mother character played by Maureen Lipman.

Ms James, a former chairman of the Crime Writers Association, has given the Gold Blend characters names - the glossy magazine journalist played by Sharon Maughan has been christened Alexandra Maitland and Tony Head's ambitious art dealer is called Matthew Prescott. She has also introduced closet skeletons and dark secrets.

Leading article, page 16