It's the biggest selling UK book of all time. It's inspired a host of parodies, and even more column inches. In fact, some might say the 50 Shades Of Grey phenonomen has become a little annoying.

Which begs the question - who or what is responsible for EL James' trilogy? Is there anyone else we can blame? Well, today we know. It's the fault of none other than slightly spooky pop robot,

The author has claimed that listening to Will's lyrics - particularly on the track Sexy from 2003's Elephunk - inspired her to write her novels.


She told The Sun: "I have songs that I write sex to. One of them is the Black Eyed Peas' Sexy. That is a very sexy song.''

So Sexy is a very sexy song? We weren't sure, so we took a quick trip to Google to find out. And here's what she is talking about:


Girl u really got me goin
Outta control
I dot know what im doin
Lets let it go
And do what we do best
Take off our clothes
We look better undressed

Yes to sex
Yes to sex
No to War
No to war
Fightin' is rightin'
Fightin' is rightin'
Yes to sex
It's so much more exciting
Yes to sex
Yes to sex
No to War
No to war
Fightin is frightning
Fightin is frightening
Yes to sex
It's so much more exciting

Its called the S E X X X X

OK we admit it: she has a point. That is a very sexy song.

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  • 1. The Highway Code

    We're sorry to rub this in, but the world's most boring book just got a decidedly raunchier competitor in the best selling stakes. Unfortunately, there's no promises a copy of <em>Shades</em> will help you pass your theory test.

  • 2. Stamps

    If Shades is encouraging anything, it's not the ancient and romantic art of writing love letters. Especially not after the recent price hike.

  • 3. Dressing Gowns

    Move over, Hugh Hefner, your silky loungewear is no longer the epitome of male sex appeal.

  • 4. Chest Wigs

    See previous.

  • 5. Supermarket dinner for two for £10

    They may be convenient, but they're a bit more M&S then S&M, sadly.

  • 6. Tickets to the Rocky Horror Show

    You still thought this was risque? Oh...

  • 7. Snowglobes

    Never the classiest form of souvenir.

  • 8. Hot water bottle

    Especially not when hidden inside a cuddly animal cover.

  • 9. Typewriters

    These belong in the whole Moulin Rouge genre of raunch. Next.

  • 10. The Atkins Diet

    Bit of a cheat, really, as sales of these have been declining since the mid-noughties.

  • 11. Bottles of cough medicine

    It's summer.

  • 12. Scarves

    Apart from the types needed to tie up lovers with.

  • 13. Watches

    Most people use their phone to tell the time with now, right?

  • 14. Pugs

    Yes, they're a very fashionable dog right now, but they're far more demanding than your average best-selling paperback.¢

  • 15. Elton John records

    Is he even producing them any more?! A fall from grace from the bespectacled wonder.

  • 16. Bicycle pumps

    Granted, the olympics are in full swing. But any DIY sex toy involving one of these is going to end up with a trip to A&E. Johnsen Frameworks

  • 17. Elastic bands

    The most domestic form of rubber good. Up there with... Johnsen Frameworks

  • 18. Plugs

    Of the drain-blocking variety. Not to be confused with number 14. Also in the rubber line...

  • 19. Swimming hats

    Sexy, but not necessarily part of your beach look this year. Pink

  • 20. The Da Vinci Code

    2003 called, it wants its best seller back.

  • 21. Pencils

    With thousands of copies of Shades littering public transport, there's no wood left for these useful scribing tools.

  • 22. Big Macs

    Tasty. But gherkins = halitosis.

  • 23. Copies of Wet Wet Wet's "Love Is All Around"

    You're still using this as a seduction technique? Awkward.

  • 24. Condoms

    The irony of Shades is that the book's so addictive that the prospect of having actual sex is just a tad, well, distracting.

  • 25. All of the items in the book combined

    Sure, you're happy enough to go and read about the whips and the chains and the other clunky bedroom accessories - but going to the extent to buy them? Meh.

  • 26. Wedding rings

    It's fair to say that any <em>Shades</em> reader is somewhat more intimidating marriage material now. Let's not get started on the white dress.

  • 27. Newspapers

    Say what? All those stories about Shades are getting dull? You'd rather read the actual book?

  • 29. The Crazy Frog ringtone

    Thank god one dreadful best seller has killed another.

  • 28. Jilly Cooper's Riders

    Yes, we are in floods of tears about this. No, <em>Shades</em> will never fill the Cooper-shaped hole in our heart.

  • 30. Dusters

    Bored housewives have far better things to do with their time now.

  • 31. Tickets to the Olympic stadium

    Despite being the equivalent of event gold dust at the moment, the amount sucked up by corporate sponsors has meant that <em>Shades</em> is a far more egalitarian option.

  • 32. Spice Girls posters

    Although we're hoping that<em> Shades</em> isn't taking the equivalent place on young girls' walls.

  • 33. Razors

    Female body hair is in, if you hadn't heard. Plus, much like point 24 states, women have far better things to do right now.

  • 34. Lady Chatterly's Lover

    It may be the thinking gal's <em>Shades</em>, but we can't believe copies are flying off the shelves.

  • 35. Mansions

    We're in the middle of a recession, don't you know?

  • 36. Bunting

    *Yawn* The Jubilee is so three months ago.

  • 37. Pegs

    Sexy instruments of mild torture are far more...shiny, these days.

  • 38. Lunchboxes

    Most people buy lunch out now, right? Secondly, after Shades, there are less coy ways of referring to a man's package.

  • 39. Coathangers

    Oh yes, because steamy sexual encounters are made by neatly hanging up one's clothes.

  • 40. CKOne

    It's unlikely Christian and Anastasia have a shower and share his'n'hers perfume after a romp.

  • 41. Kettle Chips

    Once the ultimate in middle-class wooing snack. Now the harbinger of bad breath.

  • 42. Wills and Kate mugs

    We literally shudder to think of either of them practising any of that.

  • 43. Sunglasses

    Have you been outside during the last three months at all?!

  • 44. Chicken Kievs

    We gather that breaded garlicky poultry has declined in popularity.

  • 45. Novelty ties

    See the book cover.

  • 46. One Day

    Ok, well, you probably should read this if you haven't yet, but do it in a hovel somewhere. Don't bring it up in conversation for fear of derision and mild mocking.

  • 47. Jim Sturgess

    OK - there is only one of him. But in terms of fantasy fodder, even a million of him wouldn't challenge Christian Grey.

  • 48. Tripe

    We're guessing it hasn't been all that popular for a while.

  • 49. Cosmo magazine

    Ridiculous as the sex tips offered in Shades are, people are still more likely to try them than those advised in this publication.

  • 50. Cupcakes

    If we are to be grateful to this publication for anything, it is for the death of twee.