I'd like to know whether I would have liked the 'It's beginning to look a lot like christmas' Argos ad quite so much if it wasn't based in Newcastle.
The first time D saw it, I wasn't really watching. 'Hey, isn't that Newcastle?' he said suddenly, and I turned around to see a shot that looked like it might have been Monument, but equally might not be. But it's hard to say from a split second shot. 'Maybe,' I said. 'We'll look next time.'
The next time I still misssed the beginning, but soon realised that it really was Newcastle. People running down Dean Street and Grey Street, a quick shot of the Crown Posada, a shot that's clearly taken from Monument when you see it properly. And I got really excited; it's nice to see a place you love on TV. And it's not a horribly over the top Christmas ad like most of them - it's gentle and funny, and I keep going around singing 'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas' - the irony being that it's not yet, of course, and that I am completely unprepared for Christmas. (Oh, and the fact that I bloody hate Argos.) But this ad makes me feel like Christmas isn't such a bad thing.
One thing in the ad is funny for people who know Newcastle, though. All these people would never be running down Grey Street and Dean Street for their Christmas shopping. All the proper shops are up in the middle of the city, not down near the Quayside.
I just love the first shot at the beginning of the ad at the bottom of Dean Street, right near the Quayside. I think it's taken from the top of the Tyne Bridge. It always amazes me when I'm reminded quite how much of a slope Newcastle is on. The Tyne Bridge is actually below the level of the top of Newcastle, but you can see how much further down the ground slopes. This really is an amazing city.
Of course, there's also the fact that this was blatantly shot in summer. The lack of Christmas lights and the sunshine give that away pretty quickly, trees and Santa hats and coats and scarves notwithstanding. Heee.