Former Soccer AM host Tim Lovejoy has been named as a new brand ambassador for Giovanni Rana pasta as part of a £2.5m television advertising campaign.

The four-week campaign hit screens on Monday and portrays Lovejoy panicking over the preparation of a meal for a date before enlisting the help of his beautiful Italian neighbour, who prepares Giovanni Rana fresh filled pasta.

At the same time, Rana is launching a new website and running an 11-week nationwide sampling campaign across 60 Sainsbury's and Asda stores.

Rana predicted the activities would increase its market share "among ­hedonistic urbanites".

"As the winter months draw in, consumers will be looking to get a flavour of the Mediterranean on their plates," said a ­spokeswoman.