Thanks for all your advice.
The car has full service history, i think the last oil change was 0w50 fully synthetic 7k miles ago. LPT fitted, using Morrisons unleaded, i think 95ron. have used Tesco's 97ron before and it did seem to run better. The pinking occurs under load accelerating at low speed and disappears at 2.5/3k revs. Revs right through no problem. Engine check light doesn't come on. but it over heated last week whist waiting in a queue, water everywhere, no split pipes just came out of the pressure cap. re-topped it back up, and the temp gauge is reading normal now, was reading low. Changed the thermostat and temp sensor since. Oh and i need to re-gas the climate control as well!! Kwik fit do it for £44-95.
I've also had the lamp check relay break as well, Ebay from America, £11-00 inc postage, Bargain!!