10th October – Knock knock, who’s there? Could this be love that’s calling? The door is always open wide.

Have you noticed that Santander are running a massive and expensive advertising campaign based entirely on the premise that Santander is an approximate alliteration to Ant & Dec? I wonder what college the prick who thought that up went to? The current joke, hilariously, has Dec invent a nicer way to present bills, by having an odd looking man make an origami animal out of them. It’s like one of those jokes at the Tory Party conference, not only not funny, but actually serves to further alienate the teller from the person they are trying to appeal to.

Anyhoo, to exploit the uselessness of that, have a laugh at their expense, and do something miles cheaper whilst riding on their back, me and a well known food giant (not the Jolly Green one) have got together to make the following ad which will be appearing on your screens shortly.

As you can see, my foundation stone for the gag – a well known clichéd joke, offers much more scope for development of the idea and a long running campaign, than does theirs: to rely on the respective charismas of the odious Ant, and the woeful Dec.

In mine, the political and business journalist, Robert Peston approaches a prop door on an empty stage. Instead of knocking, he shouts out, “knock, knock” using his trademark drawl such that the beginning of the word knock each time is delivered with a European elongation to it.

Off stage we hear footsteps come towards the door, and half way there before we see her, a well known actress responds, “who’s there?”

Robert, this time shouting through the letterbox, replies “Pesto.”

The well known actress is now on the other side of the door and responds, “Pesto who?” whereupon Robert says, “gnocchi and pesto” and shows the dish of delicious, just cooked, gnocchi and pesto to the camera.

Diddle diddle dumpling little Peston, went to bed with his trousers on.

Gwyneth (for it is her) opens the door with a look of mild surprise/curiosity on her face, and Robert says, “Get it?”

It’s an intellectual joke based on Italian grammar, and the fact that gnocchi could be the plural of gnocch, or knock (although it’s probably gnocco), but it doesn’t matter if you don’t get this part immediately, or if it’s correct.

Gwyneth replies, “yes of course I do, but it’s still not funny Robert.”

Then Robert says, looking at the camera, showing the dish again, “No, do you get it?” He winks at the camera, then adds, “You should, it’s another delicious dish from, name of food giant.”

Gwyneth laughs and says, “Oh Robert, you are silly, you should have said,” then drags him in like Dick Emery might once have done.

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