A tale of two Curries

Observations on advertising

Pot Curry is the latest offering from Pot Noodle, maker of the fast-selling range of instant snacks. It comes in three flavours - korma, tikka masala and balti - and it goes without saying that all three are disgusting. The most disgusting of the lot, however, is undoubtedly the tikka masala, which is so disgusting that the word cannot begin to describe its unique unpleasantness.

The smell alone - which hits you as soon as the hot water comes into contact with the contents of the pot - is enough to make even the most additive-hardened stomach lurch. And as for the taste: well, I won't go into that.

All of which makes it intriguing that Pot Noodle should have chosen Edwina Currie to be the public face of its new product. Intriguing, but not altogether surprising. For doesn't Currie have rather a lot in common with the foodstuff she has agreed to endorse? In the first place, there's her name.

Then there are her own gastronomic preferences. A company spokesperson told me that, as a keen cyclist (and, one presumes, former junior health minister), she has long valued Pot Noodle for its "instant nutritional benefits".

Pot Noodle got lots of attention last year with the mock-ironic tone of its "slag of all snacks" advertising campaign. Which brings me to another reason why Edwina Currie makes a worthy ambassador for Pot Curry.

Following the revelation of her affair with John Major, she has become synonymous with a kind of extravagant sexuality. Who better, then, to endorse the "slag of all snacks"?

Perhaps that is being unfair to Currie. But her antics do invite the comparison. Since publishing her diaries, she has appeared to revel in her status as the elder stateswoman of lasciviousness. I was mildly shocked, on opening a Sunday paper a couple of months ago, to see her in a state of semi-undress, draped across the pillion of a Harley-Davidson.

Yet as her diaries confirm, Currie was far from a politician's easy lay. She and Major were in love with each other, and in its own way it was tragic that their affair had to end.

Now, however, like the man in the Pot Noodle campaign who gives in to his desire for "something filthy", Edwina Currie seems to have succumbed to her own worst instincts for notoriety and money.