RICHARD ORD: Fifty Shades of Wahey!

Models wearing Lingerie by Annette ahead of the Valentine's Lingerie Fashion Show at the John Duck pub in Durham.
Models wearing Lingerie by Annette ahead of the Valentine's Lingerie Fashion Show at the John Duck pub in Durham.

FIFTY Shades of Grey fever hit the office this week after it was revealed that a pub was to host a lingerie catwalk show inspired by the new movie.

Within a few minutes, photographers were sending back photos of scantily-clad models spilling out over a pub pool table and, pretty soon after, the images began appearing on computer screens throughout the office. Honestly, I didn’t know where to put my face.

The movie, which is launched for Valentine’s Day, is unlikely to be greeted with the same furore which was reserved for the book.

Back in 2012, Wearside Women in Need, a charity which helps abused women, called for the novel, by E L James, to be burned.

Later this was toned down to wiping one’s bottom with the pages. It was, apparently, more environmentally friendly. And it spawned some nice headlines. ‘Fifty Shades of Brown’ being a particular favourite, in reference to the colour the pages would become if the protest was carried out.

Campaigners toned down the book-burning campaign in favour of a dirty protest because of the unwelcome association with the Nazis and their programme of novel burning in the run-up to, and during, the Second World War. The publicity all this nonsense afforded Fifty Shades of Grey ensured that E L James earned so much money from book sales that she now, apparently, wipes her bottom with £10 notes without batting an eyelid. By the end of 2013, she had earned £65million from the book. You do the bum-wipe math!

Fifty Shades of Grey somehow found itself into our house.

My wife was given it as a birthday present. And after reading it, she declared it a load of old cobblers, which was a relief. I read extracts of it myself, but it did nothing for me.

At the time, there was a school of thought that the saucy novel was a huge success because it offered escapism for thousands of housewives trapped in dull marriages with even duller sex lives.

I took my wife’s dismissal of Fifty Shades as “unrealistic nonsense” as a ringing endorsement of our relationship.

When a few weeks later I found her poring over the pages of the E L James’s follow up novel Fifty Shades Darker, I wasn’t happy.

Honestly, I was so angry, I could have smacked her bottom with a table tennis bat.

l I know you’re probably not that interested, but the lingerie catwalk show, courtesy of Lingerie by Annette, will be taking place at the John Duck pub in Claypath, Durham City, on February 11, starting at 8pm.

The manager has said you’ll have to get there at about 6pm to guarantee a seat at the front, erm, so I’m led to believe.