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'Fifty Shades' effect sees handcuff accidents soar

The Fifty Shades of Grey effect could be to blame for an increasing number of handcuff-related emergency call-outs over the past three years, London Fire Brigade said today.

London Fire Brigade has seen an increase in the number of handcuff-related incidents. Credit: PA

Firefighters have been called out to 79 incidents of people being trapped in handcuffs during that period and the brigade advised people to "keep the keys handy."

Third officer Dave Brown, said: "Some of the incidents our firefighters are called out to could be prevented with a little common sense. I don't know whether it's the Fifty Shades effect, but the number of incidents involving items like handcuffs seems to have gone up."

Taylor-Johnson to direct 50 Shades film

Artist and film-maker Sam Taylor-Johnson has agreed to direct the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey .

The writer of the bestselling erotic novel EL James announced the news on Twitter:

"I'm delighted & thrilled to let you guys know that Sam Taylor-Johnson has agreed to direct the film of Fifty Shades of Grey."

Sam Taylor-Johnson is married to actor Aaron Johnson. Credit: Ian West/PA Archive

Taylor-Johnson won critical acclaim for her debut film, Nowhere Boy, which told the story of the early life of John Lennon.

The 46-year-old was initially known for her artistic work which included a film of David Beckham sleeping.

The erotic novel has sold more than 5.3 million copies in the UK, making it the bestselling book of all time.


Man cleared of assault after 'Fifty Shades' encounter

A man has been cleared of assault after a court heard a "master-slave" sex session inspired by erotic novel Fifty Shades Of Grey overstepped the boundaries of fantasy.

Steven Lock, 43, and a woman in her forties, who cannot be named for legal reasons, began a relationship based around sado-masochistic role play after meeting on a dating website.

But prosecutors alleged that last August the fantasy went too far as Lock chained the women "like a dog" to his bedroom floor and whipped her repeatedly with a rope.

Fifty Shades of Grey has become the best selling book in Britain since records began. Credit: Press Association

He denied assault causing actual bodily harm, saying the woman had consented.

Today at Ipswich Crown Court, a jury of 10 men and two women took just over two hours to find Lock, of Plover Road, Ipswich, not guilty.

During the trial, Lock was asked by defence counsel Roger Thomson if he and the alleged victim had read Fifty Shades Of Grey.

He replied: "That's where we got the idea from."

Outside court, jeweller Mr Lock said he was relieved that the jury "had seen sense".

He said: "It's the right verdict. This case should never have reached court. As far as I'm concerned, it was a consensual activity between adults."

Fifty Shades of Grey wins best fiction book prize

EL James's bestselling sensation Fifty Shades Of Grey has been named one of the books of the year at a literary awards ceremony.

Fifty Shades Of Grey author E.L. James Credit: Michael Lionstar

The book has become a literary phenomenon, selling more than 5.3 million copies to become the best selling book of all time in the UK.

It was named the Popular Fiction Book of the Year at the Specsavers National Book Awards last night.

Miranda Hart won the Non-Fiction prize

Others winners included comic Miranda Hart, who won the Non-Fiction prize for Is It Just Me?, and David Walliams, whose Ratburger was named Children's Book of the Year.

David Walliams won Children's Book of the Year.

Sports presenter Clare Balding won the Autobiography category for My Animals And Other Family, ahead of other shortlisted authors including Walliams, Salman Rushdie and Who guitarist Pete Townshend.

Lorraine Kelly hosted the event

The event was hosted by Daybreak presenter Lorraine Kelly at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hyde Park, central London.


Husband of record-smashing erotic writer bags own book deal

Niall Leonard, whose wife EL James wrote the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, has landed his own major book deal - with a manuscript he wrote in just a month.

The thriller, Crusher, is due to be published later this year and is aimed at young adults.

Niall Leonard, husband of erotic writer EL James, to publish own book Credit: PA/Random House Group

Niall Leonard, a TV screenwriter responsible for programmes like Monarch of the Glen and Hornblower, was challenged to write the book by his wife. Executives at her publishing house were so impressed, they signed him up to a three book deal.

Fifty Shades of Grey, his wife's debut novel, set a UK record last week by selling more than 200,000 copies in seven days.

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