NEW rules from Ofcom means that at off-peak times a single TV advert could last as long as 12 minutes.

Now this wouldn’t bother me if it was the right adverts that were extended, but there are others that would have me reaching for the off switch and a copy of Women’s Weekly.

I mean, pleasant as those three girls who sing about the benefits of Sheila’s Wheels are, I cannot see their repertoire being extended beyond 30 seconds.

Allow that Budweiser band to play any longer and I’ll take an axe to the TV. And hasn’t everyone had enough of that bloke who is on the phone to a loan company while his wife is following him around with a camera?

“How much? That’s brilliant.”

But there are others that are clever enough to be extended. There could be extra miles in that Unmistakably German chap who drives a Citroen and the Huggies baby that lets blast as his dad tries to change him is hilarious (been there, done that).

But the best TV adverts seem to come from the makers of alcohol.

Alexander Armstrong could turn his Pimm’s character into a TV series, except that comedian Armstrong already has a TV series, and Carling always impresses with its big screen ambitions as the same group of lads stick together to conquer space and spaghetti westerns.

I would add Stella Artois to the list for their string of classic atmospheric shorts.

But the latest simply has me laughing, even though the dramatic voice-over comes from our own Patrick Stewart.

“In the year 1366, people feared terrible dangers … so when the citizens of Leuven set out to create the perfect beer they risked all to gather the ingredients.”

Er, sorry. No they didn’t.

They were not required to sail off the edge of the world or face meteors or fight wars in their quest for water, hops, malted barley and maize.

It was just down the road.

“Dare you brave the dangers they faced …”

What? Like walking up to the bar and asking for a pint of Stella?

Besides, they may have started brewing beer in Leuven in 1366 but Stella Artois was not marketed until 1926.

Still a great beer, though. But this one won’t be a 12-minute Oscar winner.