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At last, big knickers are coming down

"Do you want to know the top lingerie turn-offs for men?" asked Patsy. "Eh ... no," Maggie and I replied in unison. "Couldn't give a fiddler's," said Josie. It was as if Patsy was wearing ear plugs as she ploughed gamely on.

"Oversized, beige shaper knickers; discoloured, white underwear; thongs showing above jeans; visible panty lines, badly fitting bras and novelty underwear."


To be honest, I find the oversized, beige knickers a bit of a turn-off myself. I have three pairs all lying in my underwear drawer like orphans. Every so often I try a pair on just to show them the light of day. Unrolling them over my thighs, I then heave them over my buttocks before stuffing my belly in under the elastic.

Immediately that same elastic starts biting into my waist until it slowly turns off my air supply and my face turns redder than a baboon's backside. Then I make the classic mistake of looking in the mirror.

Clive James once compared Arnold Schwarze-negger's bronzed and overly muscled body to that of "a condom filled with walnuts". Well, in those big, beige knickers I, too, look like a condom, but mine seem to be stuffed with lump hammers instead.

"Help is at hand. Or it would be if we lived in Belfast," said Patsy as she patted my hand in sympathy.


Yes, ladies, at the end of a two-hour drive up the M1 is an Asda store, the owners of which carried out a survey and found that 75pc of women who shop with them envy the hourglass figure of Kelly Brook.

They also found that these same women didn't want to have to pay through the nose to look like her. With this in mind they have developed a range of big knickers that fit these recessionary times.

Typically, shape-wear pants can cost about €35. Asda is selling them for around €7.50 -- a fifth of the price.

Instead of drab and dreary beige, they are giving us fetching leopard prints, black-and- white flower designs and lots of lace.

As usual, though, the girls modelling them are nothing short of drop-dead gorgeous.

Doe-eyed and sallow-skinned with lustrous hair tumbling in waves down their backs, I have to admit they do look svelte in their big knickers, but I have a sinking feeling that they were svelte before they ever put them on.

Suffice to say there isn't a lump hammer in sight and they seem to be breathing without the aid of an iron lung.

"You never know, you really could end up looking like Kelly Brook," said Patsy.

Becher's Brook more like ...