Debenhams in deal to sponsor Neighbours

Debenhams has signed up to sponsor Channel 5's flagship soap Neighbours throughout 2011.

The move, a first for the retailer, will see the department store chain target the popular Aussie drama's 5.4 million average weekly viewers with specially commissioned "idents" that sit after each programme and either side of the commercial breaks.

The short trailers which go on air from today will mirror the Neighbours' credits, transforming the familiar antipodean setting into a British version, with each scene and character dressed by Debenhams.

Visitors to Channel Five's website will also be able to click through to the online store. Clothing featured in the short films will be tagged in store and online at Debenhams.com with "as seen on TV".