Monday, 21 February 2011



A hotel housekeeper from Premier Inn has just set a brand new World Record for the fastest bed-making in just 95 seconds.

A group of housekeepers decided to try and set a new world record this morning on the banks of the Thames in London, and Louise Waller from Sheffield was crowned a new World Record holder, making a king-sized bed quicker than anyone else before.

Previous World Record holders in the bed making category have been Sister Sharon Stringer and Nurse Michelle Benkel of the Royal Masonic Hospital, London who broke the team record for bed-making in 1993 at 14 seconds and Wendy Wall from Australia in 1978 who broke the record for making a single bed in 28.2 seconds.

To set the new World Record for making a king-size bed Louise had to tackle two pillows with pillow cases, a mattress cover, a king size bed sheet, a king size duvet and duvet cover and a Premier Inn bed runner, all presented to a high professional standard.

Louise Waller, aged 30, the new World Record holder said, ‘I am so happy to have set a brand new World Record for the fastest bed-maker! As a housekeeper I have to make beds perfectly everyday, so I knew with a bit of practice I’d be a World Record holder!” Louise Waller has worked for Premier Inn Sheffield City Centre (St Mary’s Gate) for 15 months.

Steve Conway Head of Marketing for Premier Inn said, “We pride ourselves on having the most efficient team around so it’s only right that one of our esteemed housekeepers has been recognised as a World Record holder.”

For further information, please contact Frank PR on
0207 693 6999 or email

Notes to editors:

Award-winning Premier Inn is the UK’s biggest budget hotel brand with over 590 budget hotels and more than 42,000 rooms across the UK and Ireland. Premier Inn bedrooms feature en-suite bathrooms, TV with Freeview channels, and WiFi internet access. All Premier Inns feature a bar and restaurant; situated inside the hotel or adjacent, offering a wide range of food choices.

In 2008 Premier Inn launched in Dubai and is now open in Bangalore, India. On a domestic front, Premier Inn aims to be the largest provider of budget hotels within the M25 area by 2012.

Premier Inn supports WaterAid, the international charity whose mission is to overcome poverty by enabling the world's poorest people to gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education. Premier Inn, as part of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, aims to raise £1 million for WaterAid over the next two years. Details can be found at


Tourists still in search of Middle Eastern Promise

Syria has topped the list of fastest rising destinations in January 2011, experiencing an increase in hotel searches in January of 486% when compared with the same time last year, according to figures released today by

Other destinations prominent in the January hotlist provide a key insight into where Brits are looking to travel in 2011 and it appears sunshine is high on the agenda. Popular destinations include Spanish hot spot Menorca which took the second place spot (up 466%), Gibraltar (up 445%) and Crete (up 446%) along with the usual popular American cities of Las Vegas (up 434%) and Orlando (up 442%).

Ireland, also saw a surge in searches with Kinsale receiving a 430% increase and capital city Dublin experiencing a 417% boost.

Alison Couper, Communications Director at, said: “Syria is definitely an up and coming destination for a Middle Eastern break and our January search figures support this. The number of tourists going to Syria is expected to rise by up to 40 percent this year according to their government; with historic Damascus, Ugarit in northern Aleppo (the archaeological site) and year round hot temperatures proving popular with Brits.”

1 Damascus, Syria 486%
2 Menorca, Balearics 466%
3 Medina, Saudi Arabia 457%
4 Malia, Crete 446%
5 Gibraltar 445%
6 Fort Lauderdale, USA 444%
7 Orlando, USA 442%
8 Las Vegas, USA 434%
9 Kinsale, Ireland 430%
10 Dublin, Ireland 417%


For more information, please call:
Frank PR on 020 7693 6999 or email


As part of the Expedia group which operates in all major markets, offers more than 130,000 quality hotels, B&Bs and serviced apartments worldwide. If a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, will match it. benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry negotiating the best rates for its customers, plus there are 1.8m reviews from users who have actually stayed in the hotels to ensure customers make an informed choice when booking. has recently launched its Welcome Rewards customer loyalty programme in the UK, where customers can earn a free night for every ten nights stayed (subject to Welcome Rewards terms and conditions as set out at won the Gold Award for best hotel booking site in Webuser magazine in February 2009. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multilingual call centres on 0871 200 0171.


96 legs are better than one!
Biggest display of Japanese Spider Crabs arrive in the UK

Having travelled over 6,000 miles, 96 legs crawled their way into the Alton Towers Resort today, as the UK’s leading short break destination took a delivery of 12 gigantic Japanese Spider Crabs ahead of its February half-term season opening on 19th February. Brand new for 2011, the breathtaking creatures will reside in the all-new area of Sharkbait Reef by SEA LIFE, recently named Skeleton Bay.

The largest display of Japanese Spider Crabs in the UK, the giant amphibians are set to reach a combined weight of 230kg, and each span nearly four metres in length, the equivalent of the entire Oblivion track at Britain’s Greatest Escape.

Usually found off the southern Japanese island of HonshÅ© in depths up to 600 metres, the crabs will now settle within the Resort’s pirate-themed Mutiny Bay alongside over 300 other species of fish, including sharks and seahorses and more than one million litres of water.

Divisional Director of the Alton Towers Resort, Ian Crabbe said: ‘After months of anticipation and planning we’re really excited to be welcoming our 12 Japanese Spider Crabs into Sharkbait Reef by SEA LIFE and are now looking forward to seeing the reaction of visitors when they enter the new Skeleton Bay attraction and come face to face with the giant creatures! With endless family fun to be had this February half-term, we hope hosting the UK’s biggest ever display of Spider Crabs will provide our guests with a unique and memorable experience to take home in 2011!

The Alton Towers Resort is open from 10am-4pm every day between 19th-27th February for the February Half Term. With prices from just £13 per person for a family of four 2 day ticket when booked at, the Alton Towers Resort is a great day out of short break!

For more information on the UK’s number 1 short break destination and Britain’s Greatest Escape, visit or call 0871 222 9901

Facts and figures

• Laid out together, the leg span of the 12 Japanese Spider Crabs is equivalent to the track length of Oblivion!
• The combined weight of the crabs is over 230 kg – that’s the same as the flying ship in the Alton Towers Hotel
• The bodies of the crabs can grow up to 40 centimetres – that’s the same diameter as the rubber rings in the waterpark
• The team at Sharkbait Reef by Sea Life will clean the Spider Crabs with toothbrushes
• The natural habitat of the spider crabs is in the Pacific between 300-400 metres deep – that’s 20 times the height of TH13TEEN

- ends -
Notes to Editor
• The Alton Towers Hotel was voted Best UK Family Hotel by the Mother & Baby Magazine Survey, August 2007
• Alton Towers voted Best UK Theme Park attraction – British Travel Awards 2009 and 2010!
• Alton Towers theme park voted best UK day out experience at the British Travel Awards 2010
• Alton Towers voted large visitor attraction of the year at the 2010 Heart of England Excellence Awards


Hollyoaks actress launches 2011 Bennetts Babes Search

Swapping her lycra for leathers, former Dancing on Ice star Jennifer Metcalfe turned biker babe today to launch the search for the 2011 Bennetts Babes squad. The annual competition, run by the UK’s No.1 for bike insurance*, sees the nation’s sexiest babes compete for a place in the hottest squad in the biking world with a modelling contract also on offer.

Having left the reality show last Sunday, when judges voted to keep Vanilla Ice in the competition, the Hollyoaks actress best known for her role as mouthy Mercedes is now on the lookout for the next set of eight beauties to be the face of the biking brand. The Bennetts Babes, now in its eighth year, has played a huge part in the careers of a number of famous faces including Big Brother 10 winner Sophie Reade and This is Essex’s Maria Fowler.

With only eight places up for grabs, the chosen babes will be unveiled in April before taking part in a string of events, modelling assignments and marketing campaigns to represent Bennetts throughout 2011.

Hannah Squirrell, Marketing Director of Bennetts said “We’re after eight gorgeous girls to form this year’s Bennetts Babes squad and hope 2011 will be the biggest and best search yet! We wish all wannabe models the best of luck and hope everyone will be as eager as Jennifer step into a pair of leathers!”

For further details on the Bennetts Babes search and to enter, visit where you can upload your entry photos, contact details and statistics. To be in with a chance of making this year’s squad you must be over 18 and a UK resident. Deadline for entries is 14th March 2011.

* Based on brand tracking research in June 2010
- Ends –

For further information or photography please contact:
Frank PR on 020 7693 6999 or email

Notes to editors
Now in its eighth year the Bennetts Babes are an established feature within the Bennetts brand and have previously been a well-known fixture at Superbike events and amongst the biking and wider male audience. The nationwide search to find the girls is well recognised and is becoming bigger and better every year.

• Bennetts was established in Coventry by the Bennett family in 1930 to provide insurance services for the West Midlands.

• In the early 1980’s Bennetts devised a number of specialist insurance schemes for all types of biker. These schemes are constantly reviewed to give bikers the exact cover they need.

• In 2000 Bennetts was the first motorcycle insurance specialist to launch a quote and buy facility through its website,

• In October 2001, the Bennetts brand was acquired by the BGL Group (formerly the Budget Group of Companies), through its purchase of the Dial Direct Group, a major UK car insurance intermediary.

o The BGL Group was established in 1992, and has grown to be the UK’s third largest personal lines insurance intermediary, through a combination of organic growth and a series of major strategic acquisitions.
o The BGL Group now arranges and administers insurance for around 2.3 million customers with more than £600million GWP. It has contact centre operations in Peterborough, Coventry, Sunderland, and Cape Town, South Africa. It currently employs over 2000 people and its head office is in Peterborough.

• In January 2005, Bennetts signed the biggest sponsorship deal in the history of the brand by becoming title sponsor of the 2005 Bennetts British Superbike Championship. Bennetts continued its sponsorship of the British Superbike Championship in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

• In June 2007, Bennetts became official series sponsor of the World Superbike Championship for the remainder of the 2007 championship and for the entire 2008 championship.

• Bennetts has been personal sponsor of two-time World Superbike Champion James Toseland since July 2007.

• In June 2010 independent brand tracking research identified Bennetts as the UK’s No.1 brand for bike insurance.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


RACE is the word!
Cancer Research UK introduces its ‘Musicommercial’ – ‘Join the Girls’

The first ever ‘Musicommercial’ is unveiled today to launch this year’s Tesco and Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life – the UK’s largest women-only fundraising event series.

Cancer Research UK has teamed up with a host of celebrities and stars of the West End stage to present ‘Join the Girls’, a compressed musical theatre performance that tells the story of Race for Life in under six minutes. The musical will be touring major cinemas across the UK throughout February, before the screening of various ‘chick flicks’. It will create a live musical advert that will entertain audiences at the same time as encouraging women to sign up for their nearest event and to raise money to help beat cancer.

’Join the Girls’ will star a different celebrity in each region, launching in London on Wednesday 2nd February with Michelle Heaton and TV presenter Jeff Brazier, both of whom have close connections to the cause. The celebrities will be joined by ambassadors in each region who have been touched by cancer. They will be backed by a core cast of West End performers who have had lead roles in several major musicals including Oliver and Chicago.

Natasha Dickinson, Head of Race for Life, said: “I’m not sure what Gershwin, Sondheim or Lloyd Webber would think, but we are excited to be pioneering this new medium where art meets advertising to promote Race for Life 2011. We believe that ‘Join the Girls’ is a fun and entertaining way to spread the word about Race for Life and we hope it will encourage women to sign up to their nearest event this summer. We want to make this year’s Race for Life series the biggest yet and raise more money than ever to help beat cancer.”

The Musicommercial continues Cancer Research UK’s innovative approach to promoting Race for Life. In 2010, the charity launched its first ever single, a remake of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’, featuring 25 celebrities including Kym Marsh, Caroline Quentin and 80s icon Carol Decker.

Michelle Heaton added: “It was great fun getting involved in the musical, I couldn’t believe how much they packed in to six minutes! I know audiences across the UK are going to have such a laugh watching ‘Join the Girls’, and will be inspired to take part in Race for Life this summer. My message to women out there is you don’t have to run it, you can even sing your way around the course if you want. But just make sure you take part so we can raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK’s life saving work.”

Now in its 18th year, Race for Life is the UK’s largest women-only fundraising event series, with over 300 events taking place in 2011. Women from across the UK come together to simply walk, jog or run 5k and raise money to help beat cancer. It is not competitive and women of all ages, shapes and sizes take part each and every year. Last year nearly 690,000 women took part and raised an incredible £54m towards beating cancer. This year the charity hopes to make it even bigger and is encouraging women from all across the UK to sign up for their nearest event at

2011 is the tenth year that Tesco has supported Race for Life and to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the partnership, Cancer Research UK and Tesco will be joining forces with a goal of raising £80 million to help fund the charity’s lifesaving research.
- Ends –
For more press information. images or interviews please contact Frank PR on 020 7693 6999 or email

Notes to editors:
About Race for Life
• Race for Life opens for entries on 17th January 2011
• Entry fee is £14.99 to cover organisational and administration costs of the series
• Enter now at or via the hotline on 0871 641 1111
• You can also follow Race for Life on twitter and via facebook
• 2011 is the tenth year that Tesco will have been supporting Race for Life
• In recognition of the increased commitment from Tesco, in 2011 Race for Life will be re-named ‘Tesco and Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life’ and it should be referred to by its full name on first usage. ‘Race for Life’ can be used in subsequent copy.

About Cancer Research UK
• Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research
• The charity’s groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives. This work is funded entirely by the public
• Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates double in the last forty years
• Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses
• Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer
• For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 3469 6699 or visit