A pensioner escaped a potentially deadly lightning strike thanks to his sturdy rubber-soled M&S slippers.
Brian Phillips, aged 65, was washing up after dinner when a bolt of lightning hit his terraced home in Bedford, causing a neighbour's fireplace to explode and throwing him across the room.
Paramedics who raced to the scene checked him for exit injuries, but soon realised the soles of his £15 slippers - a Christmas gift from his daughter - were the only things singed.
They believe the footwear grounded him, and may have saved his life."It was the biggest bang I have ever heard. It sounded like it was in the room with me while I flew back against the wall," Mr Phillips said.
"I was dazed when I got up and I couldn’t work out what had happened. I didn’t know if it was a bomb going off or a gas explosion.
"It was scary. It is not the sort of thing you expect to happen and it seemed to come out of nowhere. It just didn’t sound like thunder, it was just one big bang and all the electrics had gone off."
After recovering from the shock of being hit, Mr Phillips said he made his way outside to see what had happened.
He was met by neighbours who had seen their electric and phone lines go down - and one whose fireplace had exploded.
He was checked over by paramedics, who advised him to go to hospital - but he said it "wasn't practical".
"I am like a cat, I have got nine lives," he said.
"I felt a little dodgy after banging into the wall but I am carrying a little bit of weight which probably padded me in the blast."
Marks & Spencers has now vowed to send him a fresh pair of slippers.
We’re delighted he is safe and blown away to hear that our humble slippers played a part in saving his life.