Thursday, 23 April 2009


BP appoints Amscreen as exclusive digital signage partner

Sir Alan Sugar’s company secures exclusive five year deal

Amscreen, Sir Alan Sugar’s new digital signage company, has been appointed by BP’s UK retail business as its exclusive digital signage partner following an extensive procurement process for the contract. The selection of Amscreen for the five year contract follows comprehensive trials in BP forecourts over the last two years, incorporating both technical and consumer research testing.

Initially, Amscreen’s close proximity-signage units will be installed in BP’s 335 company-owned sites from spring 2009, with the concept being offered to BP's 800 dealer partners towards the end of the year. The screens will carry customer information such as live traffic updates, which proved a huge success during the customer trials, as well as advertising for BP products and services. In addition, the network will carry messages from national and regional advertisers eager to reach the 7 million motorists who use BP forecourts in the UK each week.

The launch of the Amscreen network comes at a time when the Digital Out of Home market is buoyant, with the size of market ever-growing and expected to quadruple to a worth of £248 million by 2012. The network will be utilising Amscreen’s bespoke ‘plug and play’ technology, which allows screen content to be remotely updated without the need for any extra cabling or IT input, on site.

Amscreen is run by CEO Simon Sugar, former Commercial Director of Amstrad, with Sir Alan Sugar as Chairman. The BP negotiations were led by Simon Sugar and Development Director Lee McQueen, winner of TV series The Apprentice.

Simon Sugar commented: “We’re delighted to announce this deal with BP and to be rolling out the Amscreen network throughout their stores. We believe that our ‘plug and play’ system utilises the most practical and scalable solutions available and that our manufacturing experience, combined with our unique end-to-end wireless technology, delivers a low-cost digital solution of the highest quality. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with BP.”

Richard Harding, UK Convenience Retail Director, for BP said: “We are excited to announce the roll-out of the Amscreen network in our stores. We are continually looking for innovative ways to communicate to our customers. Amscreen’s products enable us to present relevant, useful and timely information in a highly engaging format. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the safety and efficiency of customers’ journeys for example by providing traffic updates whilst also sharing news of our great promotions, products and services. ”

For more information on Amscreen, go to

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For more information, please contact

Frank PR – 020 7693 6999 /

Mark Salt, BP Retail press office, 01908 853828

Sheila Williams, BP group press office, 0207 496 4851

Notes to editors

Amscreen is Sir Alan Sugar’s new digital signage company, run by CEO Simon Sugar, former Commercial Director of Amstrad

BP, through its Convenience Retail business owns and operates over 300 forecourt stores in the UK, including over 260 award winning BP Connect and Wild Bean Cafes sites - many of which now have a M&S Simply Food offer in partnership with M&S. There are a further 800 BP branded sites owned and operated by independent dealers. BP has 16% of the market share of the UK fuel for forecourts.

Monday, 20 April 2009



Jade Goody’s close friend and actor lead 15 fellas ‘In her shoes’ to pay a tribute to the women in their lives

The ‘stiletto’ shoe was on the other foot in London today as a group of men joined Jade Goody’s close friend Kevin Adams and actor Christopher Biggins to pay a light-hearted but touching tribute to the inspirational women in their lives, by strapping on a pair of high heels for a walk of empathy in support of Cancer Research UK’s women-only Race for Life 2009 series.

United by their cancer experiences and in support of the women in their lives taking part in the Race for Life series, the men looked hot to trot as they got in touch with their feminine sides. Under the expert guidance of fitness trainer Adams and Biggins – both of whom have recently lost close friends to cancer - the men donned skyscraper heels to take part in the one-of-a-kind ‘In Her Shoes’ event in Regents Park, London.

As part of the Race for Life ‘If I Can Do It…’ campaign, which demonstrates that women of all ages, shapes and sizes can participate in the 5k event, and in support of their wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and friends who take part in Race for Life, the group proved that if they can walk around a running track in a pair of four inch heels, women everywhere can walk, jog or run 5k at their local event.

Kevin Adams said: “Jade’s passing has affected so many people and with so much needing to be done to beat cancer, Race for Life is a great way for all women to get involved and raise money to support the important work of Cancer Research UK. Although a group of men strapping on a pair of high heels is unconventional, it’s a way of getting across a serious message in a funny way, and it’s something Jade would have had a good giggle about.”

Christopher Biggins added: “So many people have been touched by cancer and I’m no exception – I’ve just lost two of my closest friends to cancer and my father is currently undergoing treatment for bowel cancer. I’m no stranger to squeezing into a pair of high heels but it’s nice to do it this time to show support for every woman who is helping raise vital funds to help beat cancer by taking part in this year’s Race for Life.

“Most of the other men were slightly apprehensive at the prospect of putting on a pair of women’s shoes, but if they’re willing to do this in support of their loved ones for Cancer Research UK, then I hope it

persuades women everywhere to sign up for their local Race for Life event today!”

Now in its 16th series, Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is the UK’s largest women-only fundraising event. Women are invited to walk, jog or run 5k at over 230 Race for Life events taking place across the UK this summer. The charity is hoping that 680,000 women will come together and help raise over £60 million to fund the charity’s life saving work into all forms of cancer. Cancer Research UK’s work has saved millions of lives in the UK and across the world.

Fellow ‘In her shoes’ participant, Ian Read from Surrey, said: “Cancer Research UK is a very personal charity to me, and I am doing this for my wife Nicky who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. I looked at the experience she had been through, and the hope that the work of Cancer Research UK can give, and I knew that I wanted to do what I could to bring attention to Race for Life. And if strapping on a pair of high heels is the best way I can do that, then so be it!”

Each Race for Life event covers a distance of 5k and Cancer Research UK is encouraging women of all ages and levels of fitness to participate. As part of the ‘If I can do it…’ campaign, the charity has also set up a website where participants can get hints and tips to prepare a Race for Life, which includes training tips from Diana Moran and a regular training blog from Amy Lamé. The campaign also includes the ‘Shop for Life’ initiative, a fun way for women to train for Race for Life whilst shopping at the same time.

To sign up for a Race for Life event and for more information on the ‘If I can do it…’ campaign, go to

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For more press information or images please contact Frank PR on 020 7693 6999 or email


Notes to Editors

About Cancer Research UK:

· Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to beat cancer

· Cancer Research UK carries out world-class research to improve understanding of the disease and find out how to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of cancer

· Cancer Research UK ensures that its findings are used to improve the lives of all cancer patients

· Cancer Research UK helps people to understand cancer, the progress that is being made and the choices each person can make

· Cancer Research UK works in partnership with others to achieve the greatest impact in the global fight against cancer

· For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7009 8820 or visit

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Gemma Arterton sizzles as fifties film siren
Bond girl recreates Liz Taylor scene for the launch of Virgin Media Shorts 2009

British film actress Gemma Arterton today launched Virgin Media Shorts 2009, the short film competition which champions undiscovered UK film talent. The 23 year-old Bond girl and star of current Brit flick The Boat That Rocked, recreated Elizabeth Taylor’s Oscar®-nominated role, Maggie, in the 1958 classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to mark the launch of the competition.

Gemma commented, “I’m so excited that I got to recreate the iconic shot that made Elizabeth Taylor a household name. She is a complete goddess and my favourite actress in the whole world. I had such a ball on set and I hope that by taking people back to the Golden Age of cinema, we’re giving all budding film makers food for thought for Virgin Media Shorts.”

Now in its second year, Virgin Media Shorts is the only short film competition to give British film makers the opportunity to have their work showcased to millions of people across the country on four screens – on over 200 cinema screens, on TV, on mobile phones and online. The Grand Prize winner will win up to £30,000 funding, with a chance to work with Virgin Media and the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund to make their next short film, as well as the short-listed films being shown on Virgin1 later this year.

Virgin Media Shorts aims to shine a light on the best up and coming British film makers with the help of a prestigious judging panel from across the film industry. Gemma will team up with Oscar-winning stage and screen actor Kevin Spacey, who appears on the judging panel for the second year running. Together with representatives from Virgin Media and the UK Film Council, the two will also be joined by:

BAFTA Rising Star award winner, Noel Clarke
Oscar-nominated British short film director, Daniel Barber
Film critic and broadcaster, Jason Solomons

Kevin Spacey commented, "With the success of last year’s competition and the high calibre of entries, I’m delighted to be a part of the Virgin Media Shorts judging panel for the second year running. As it is increasingly difficult to get a break in the film industry, we're hoping to uncover and champion the next big thing in British film through this worthwhile competition. I've long been a supporter of emerging talent, and it's why I co-founded the initiative eight years ago."

The competition opens today and film makers are invited to upload their entries through the website - The deadline for entries is midnight on 22nd June 2009. Following this date, all entries will reviewed and short-listed down to just twelve, and the judging panel will go on to select the winning film.

In addition to the overall winner’s award, film makers are also eligible to win the People’s Choice Award, voted for by members of the public, or enter the Mobile Shorts Award - a brand new award for the best film made on a mobile phone. The winners of all three awards will be announced at a glitzy awards ceremony in central London on 22nd September 2009.

Last year’s competition was won by London-based film makers Phil Sansom and Olly Williams for their short film The Black Hole and the duo are due to start filming later this year with funding from the competition.

Ashley Stockwell, executive director of brand and marketing said, “For anyone who has ever dreamt of making it big in Hollywood, Virgin Media Shorts provides a fantastic opportunity to get in front of an audience of millions. This year’s competition promises to be even bigger and better, and we’re proud to be able to help uncover the hottest British film talent this country has to offer.”

To enter this year’s awards or for more information on Virgin Media Shorts visit


Media Contacts
Frank PR - 0207 693 6999

Notes to Editors

About Virgin Media

With almost 10 million customers, Virgin Media is the UK's first quad-play provider of broadband, TV, phone and mobile.

The company is the largest residential broadband provider in the UK, using a unique fibre optic cable network to deliver next generation ultrafast internet access of up to 50Mb to just over half of all homes. Combined with a high speed ADSL service and mobile broadband products, Virgin Media is able to offer broadband internet access to virtually the entire country.

Virgin Media has the UK’s most advanced TV on demand service and is the only TV platform to carry BBC iPlayer. It is the second largest provider of pay TV, was the first to launch a high definition TV service and offers a high-specification, HD-ready V+ personal video recorder.

The company operates the most popular virtual mobile network in the UK which, when launched, was the world’s first such mobile phone service. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.

Virgin Media owns two content businesses – Virgin Media Television (VMtv) and sit-up. VMtv owns eight entertainment channels, including Virgin1, Living, Bravo and Challenge – and is a 50 per cent joint partner with the BBC Worldwide in UKTV which consists of ten channels including Dave, G.O.L.D., Watch and Alibi. sit-up runs retail TV channels bid tv, price-drop tv and speed auction tv.

With operations based entirely in the UK, Virgin Media Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (VMED).

For more information, go to