'Why we could give Gogglebox’s Jenny and Lee a run for their money'

Gogglebox's Jenny and Lee
-Credit: (Image: Channel 4)

Funny, irritating, entertaining or downright mystifying. That’s a short and sweeping generalisation that sums up how I feel about the bulk of the adverts that fill the breaks during some of my favourite TV shows.

In our house, the ads often generate more commentary than the programmes themselves. My partner and I share the opinion that if there was an ads version of Gogglebox, we could give Jenny and Lee a run for their money – we certainly make each other laugh about our take on the often trashy adverts that grace our small screen.

We get particularly vocal about the loud ones. There’s one commercial for instant noodles with a shouting donkey in it that sets our teeth on edge.


Another newer-to-air advert for a different brand of noodle did have a horrendous slurping soundtrack over it, but the makers ended up apologising to those adversely affected by the noise, replacing it with a “more tolerable” nom-nom. Remorse? Possibly.

There are plenty of others with crazy and irritating sound effects to them, obviously meant as attention grabbers. We grab the remote to turn the volume down.

Could TV's favourite carrot be making a return this Christmas?
Could TV's favourite carrot be making a return this Christmas? -Credit:Aldi

One Freeview channel runs a glut of life insurance policy ones together, with people seemingly ecstatic at the thought of everybody partying after they’ve gone, at their expense. Not on my watch.

It could be depressing viewing if we didn’t do our own - irreverent, admittedly - versions of the voiceovers to accompany them.

Then there are the ads that we relish. For me, any that capture babies’ chuckles are worthy of repeating ad infinitum.

The ones that tell a story in a few precious minutes are clever and entertaining. A favourite at the moment is a little girl buying a bar of chocolate for her mum at the corner shop – a past and present tear-jerker as she “pays” with her most treasured belongings.

One ad that I watched time and again when it aired for many weeks – my other half would even shout me through from the kitchen so I didn’t miss it – involved a man dressed as a ring doughnut, doing his shopping and encouraging customers not to miss out on savings at a particular supermarket (or risk being a doughnut). The “Bit rude” punchline, as someone reached through his middle to get at a shelf, cracked me up, every time. Little things, I know.

The standout gems are the ads we have to wait for each year, the anticipation and the limited airtime more than likely adding to the enjoyment factor. I’m talking about Christmas, of course, and the big competing campaigns from high street names and supermarket chains.

The golden crown with the most carats must surely go to the charming little carrot who has dominated our screens for the past eight Christmases. With the way the year seems to be flying by, we will soon be finding out if he’s back for a ninth season with another helping of festive cuteness. Fingers crossed.