The BBC confirmed today that retailer Ann Summers will participate in product placement for the revival of classic drama Upstairs Downstairs. Anne Summers founder and MD Jacqueline Gold says the new show will be chock full of historically accurate gusset straps and steam-powered dildolators.
‘To compete with the likes of Downton Abbey, the Beeb have decided that a new Upstairs Downstairs needs to have a bit of sizzle to go alongside the social commentary,’ explained Gold. ‘Now that restrictions are being lifted on product placement on UK TV we feel it is the ideal time to launch a tasteful range of Edwardian-styled nurses outfits and chocolate cocks.’
Rebecca Corner, Deputy Controller of BBC One, also defended the historical relevancy of the decision. ‘This was an extraordinary time of social change in Britain in which class structures and relationships were tested to the limit. Downstairs is echoing to the sound of working class revolt, whilst upstairs you can hear what sounds like spanking. I think we’ve succeeded in mixing the gritty realism of Boardwalk Empire with the period detail of Carry on Screaming.’
The product placement is also expected to provide additional poignancy to a show that already has a reputation for taking people back to simpler times. ‘The new Upstairs Downstairs will whisk viewers off on an emotional and nostalgic journey, not only back in time, but back to characters we know and love,’ said writer Victoria Gilbert. ‘For instance that bit in episode two where Mr Hudson inserts a massive doo-daa into Mrs Bridges whoopsy-do, without so much as a by your leave? I watched that with my grandmother, and I must say it certainly brought a tear to her eye.’
Luke Wilmot, BBC Head of Old Show Recommissioning, backed the creators and sponsors of the revived show, reassuring viewers that the deal was not based on gratuitous product placement for the sake of it. ‘Each and every vibe, lube, cream and faux wang is integral to the plot,’ he insisted, ‘for example, this is an era of female emancipation and giving the characters an Ann Summers instant-boob-job bra means they can get a much fiercer blaze going.’