The 58-year-old put the shift down to the huge popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey erotic series by EL James.

London - You’ve read the books, now buy the, er, underwear. Fifty Shades Of Grey has inspired - perhaps inevitably - a line of lingerie.

Author EL James has teamed up with several manufacturers to launch the brand, which will also make T-shirts and hoodies. The products - including garters and tights - will be available soon in department stores, and promise to be “high-end” and to reflect the tone of the book.

Rumours of an official merchandising deal for a Fifty Shades brand surfaced months ago, and hot on the heels of the announcement of a classical compilation album, an American licensing firm confirmed to gossip site TMZ that Fifty Shades-themed lingerie, sleepwear and clothing will be coming to a store near you very soon.

Three separate companies have confirmed licensing deals with James to sell the first-ever official Fifty Shades branded apparel line: A company called HYP will be selling hosiery, garters, and tights; FREEZE Clothing will be selling the knits, tees, and hoodies and Briefly Stated will sell daywear, loungewear, sleepwear and underwear.

James - who earns almost £1-million a week from the erotic books - signed a deal with independent agency Caroline Mickler earlier this summer, giving Mickler the responsibility for for building the brand worldwide. - Daily Mail