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The Gold Blend couple were the stars of one of the most successful British advertising campaigns of the 1980s, promoting Nescafé Gold Blend instant coffee. Nestlé introduced Gold Blend in the mid 1980's as a better quality alternative to it's (very) ordinary Nescafé brand, which smells faintly of fish. While fishy coffee may have been acceptable in the dark ages of the 1970's, it was clearly unsuitable for the shiny, aspirational new decade.

To promote their brave new coffee, the admen invented the Gold Blend couple - a pair of insufferably smug yuppie neighbours with expensive tastes, who seemed incapable of flirting with each other unless there was a cup of Gold Blend involved. He (played by Anthony Stewart Head, of Buffy fame) had usually just returned from a business meeting in New York, or was towelling himself down after a game of squash. She (played by Sharon Maughan of, er, Holby City fame), was always throwing glamorous dinner parties, but then suddenly running out of Gold Blend at a crucial moment. She would then dash next door and manically flirt with her hunky neighbour for 30 seconds under the pretense of borrowing coffee that didn't reek of herring.

This unlikely scenario developed into something of a national obsession in 1987, when The Sun newspaper splashed a picture of the couple kissing on its front page, taken from the forthcoming final advert in the storyline. 30 million people tuned in to watch their kiss, which makes it one of the most widely watched events in British television history.

Since the original twosome finally paired off, we've suffered a succession of equally repulsive new couples over the years, all of whom have gone on to swap saliva and then mercifully fade into obscurity. A new Gold Blend couple campaign has been announced for later this year, apparently featuring a new couple on safari, or something. Great.

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