The genteel Suffolk seaside town of Aldeburgh has been chosen to host the eagerly-awaited worldwide premier of the Fifty Shades of Grey film.
Shocked bosses in London’s glittering Leicester Square cinemas were told the erotic film would shun tradition and instead be shown first in the Edwardian resort, which is better known for opera, beach sculptures and posh people.
A spokesman for distributors Whipping Boy Films revealed they made the decision thanks to the racey interests of Aldeburgh women.
“Our research found that there were more copies of the Fifty Shades of Grey book sold in Aldeburgh per 1,000 population than anywhere else in the UK. Behind those prim and proper rose gardens and lace curtains, there is clearly an interest in the erotic nature of the story by E L James.”
But local vicar Neil Cushion thinks the organisers may have made a terrible mistake. He said: “While of course it is exciting for a premier of this sort to be held in Aldeburgh, I believe there is another reason for those record numbers of Fifty Shades of Grey book sales in the town.
“The average age in Aldeburgh is 97 – and clearly the town’s women were misled by the title. They thought it was a book about hair care.
“Put it this way, in church on a Sunday all I see from the pulpit is a sea of grey hair, not a sweaty mix of women in handcuffs, chains, rope and odd personal piercings.”
Plans for the Valentine’s Day premier are pressing on regardless. A special dungeon has been built next to the 500-year-old Moot Hall, where filmgoers will be able to enjoy being tied up and whipped before being forced in a dominating manner out on to the beach where a temporary open-air movie theatre has been erected (no pun intended).
Meanwhile, the model boating lake has been made off-limits to holidaying children while it is turned into a huge hot tub for raunchy revellers.
Hotels in Aldeburgh, more usedto providing for weekend coach trips for the elderly, have been busy transforming their rooms for the occasion.
One hotel manager explained: “We have turned our suites from Edwardian luxury into dens for dominatrixes. Their pain is our pleasure.”
Suffolk Gazette tried to get a comment from Conservative Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey – but she said she was “tied up”.