Sally Gunnell is fronting the chicken industry's key promotional campaign.

The Roast A British Chicken Weekend on 3 and 4 March comes at a crucial time for the poultry industry, which is fighting to shore up consumer confidence in the wake of the bird flu outbreak in Suffolk.

"It is an opportunity to get people thinking about chicken after the recent problems," said British Chicken Marketing chairman Charles Bourns. "The industry can't afford to promote itself out of this mess on price, like it did after the 2005 scare."

Gunnell will take part in radio interviews to push the campaign, and tasting sessions have been laid on by BCM at five Tesco stores.

Bourns said the extra

promotion had not come cheap, but should ensure poultry consumption remained strong.