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***Embargoed for 00.01 Tuesday 26 August 2008***
Romance Is Dead (especially on August 27)

Search Launched For The UK’s Most Romantic Recipe; Clooney & Gallagher Top Dinner Date List

They say romance is dead and on Wednesday, August 27 it officially will be – it is the UK’s most unromantic day of the year.

Whilst no coincidence the date is almost six months from Valentine’s Day, it is a host of other factors which point to its lack of romance – including, fewest expressions of love, peak time for arguments, poor champagne sales, falling reservations for ‘tables for two’, as well as high divorce rates.

The findings were revealed to launch Accolade, a luxury new cooking appliance brand from Stoves, which is using Wednesday August 27 – the most unromantic day – to kick off a nationwide search for the UK’s most romantic recipe.

To find the date, first Accolade studied when we say “I love you” the least – analysis of web chatter for 2007 showed the fewest number of “I love yous” were expressed in the last week of August, possibly why September has the second-highest rate of divorces in the UK (January is top).

Meanwhile, Wednesdays have been pinpointed by Australian scientists as the day of the week when moods were at their lowest; whilst the post-August Bank Holiday gloom contributes to a phenomenon called ‘acute post-Bank Holiday depression syndrome’ according to UK academics.

If that’s not enough, personal purchases of champagne drop in August, as do ‘table for two’ restaurant bookings, while a relationship expert identified August 27 as being the peak time for arguments.

Jane Rylands, Accolade’s Marketing Services Manager, said: “Cupid should probably take a break on August 27th – it’s set to be a particularly unromantic day in the UK.

“To that end, we’re trying to inject a bit of romance by searching for sexy food and looking to give one recipe the accolade of the UK’s most romantic. It’s the perfect excuse to combine love and food, so there’s no need to wait for Valentine’s Day!”

To get the romance flowing, Accolade also carried out research to find the UK’s best and worst celebrity dinner date. Unsurprisingly, Ocean’s Eleven favourite George Clooney came out top for girls as the most lusted after celebrity dinner date, whilst presenter Kirsty Gallagher topped the list for the boys.

When it comes to celebs we would most avoid a romantic dinner with, horse racing pundit John McCririck was top for women and one-time Atomic Kitten Kerry Catona was top for men.

Accolade is asking the people of the UK to send in their most romantic recipe to romance@stoves.co.uk by 30 September. The winner receives £1,000-worth of Accolade integrated kitchen products from a range of 70 products across a wide range of sizes and specifications including ovens, hobs, hoods, coffeemakers and microwaves.

*Send in your most romantic recipe to romance@stoves.co.uk

For further information about Accolade, the new range from Stoves call 0871 222 2625 or visit www.accoladefromstoves.co.uk

The UK’s Most Unromantic Day was calculated by combining a series of factors:

1. The last week in August has the fewest references to “I love you” on the internet.

2. University of Sydney, carried out a study, on moods throughout the week found the people were at their lowest on a Wednesday.

3. Professor Cary Cooper from the University of Lancaster identifies ‘acute post-bank holiday depression syndrome’ based on the last bank holiday of the year, end of summer, little to look forward to in the way of sunshine, and forthcoming long winter nights.

4. Psychotherapist, Paula Hall suggests that August 27 is the day that most couples will argue.

5. September’s high divorce rate – Leading online divorce resource divorceonline.

6. The sales champagne take a plunge in August, according to www.sparklingdirect.co.uk

7. A quarter of the most watched sports overlap during the last week in August: the football season has just kicked off, while the cricket, rugby Super League and F1 racing season has not yet ended

8. toptable.com announced a reduction of bookings for ‘tables for two’ in August by 11% compared to February.

-ENDS-

Further information:

For media enquiries please call Janine Clark, Adrian Johnson, Louise Woodward or Sian Fletcher at Lucre Communications on 0113 243 1117 or email gdha@lucrecommunications.com

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