Magic and Sparkle (that's M&S to the City) was full of panto cheer as it unveiled its Christmas advertising campaign and some suitably festive interim results this week. Even the ceiling was in the Christmas spirit, shedding copious flecks of white paint over the audience.
M&S chairman Luc Vandevelde, a clean shaven Belgian version of Santa Claus, ho­ho­ho-ed in with an: "I am sorry if these results lack a little of the drama you are used to, but I am sure our shareholders prefer it this way."
After a whistlestop tour of the figures, and news that a machine washable dinner suit will be on sale this year, it was straight on to a sneak preview of David Beckham muttering something unintelligible in the latest executions of the Magic and Sparkle ads.
These also feature Graham Norton, Joan Collins, Denise Van Outen as a Christmas Fairy, and Sean Bean as the icing on the cake.