TV show sparks viewer rush to get into bikinis

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RETAILERS report tiny Lycra shorts for men and tight-fitting bikinis for women have been flying off the shelves in January – thanks to the popularity of the Tom Daley programme Splash.

The final of the reality show, which showed celebrities such as Caprice, Joey Essex and Linda Barker learning to dive, inspired Brits to treate themselves to teeny tiny swimming costumes – even in the depths of winter.

Debenhams reported a 58 per cent rise in demand for all sorts of swimwear on the day following the final of the reality show.

Debenhams spokeswoman Helen Lacey said: “Everyone is determined to make a splash on the beaches this year.

“Many of the contestants on this TV show are proving to be an inspiration for millions of people with their skimpy, spangly swimwear.

“Because these celebs have had the courage to present themselves, in swimsuits, to the entire nation everyone is thinking “if they can do it, so can I”.

“The result is that we’re now seeing men and women demonstrating their new-found body confidence by ditching one-piece swimsuits in favour of smaller, more revealing bikinis and tighter swim shorts.”

Fashion experts say the bravery of the contestants has inspired shoppers to make bolder fashion choices, saying sales of ikinis have overtaken those of traditional swimming costumes, while men are moving away from baggies and into lycra.