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Karel Doubleday, who used her mum's blue badge so she could park close to her workplace

NEWS COMMENT: Blue badge abusers are cheating the system

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It had to happen. Men are under so much pressure to look buff these days that Asda is now flogging £10 pants that claim to lift and firm flabby backsides, suck in beer bellies and smooth away love handles.

Apparently the supermarket giant has spent a year developing the Bodysculpt Trunks, using nylon and a Lycra-like material to compress podgy areas so the wearer appears to have a streamlined silhouette.

Woman have had figure-trimming ‘control’ underwear for years, haven’t they? Well, now it’s our turn – or so the argument goes.

It certainly sounds like a great way to dodge the gym, eat pies and drink beer and still catch the eye of ladies under the false impression that you keep in shape.

But here’s the problem. Presumably, these pants will only appeal to blokes who are still looking for love. There’s not much point in those with girlfriends and wives attempting this sort of deception because they’ll have already seen their man naked and know it’s just a cheat.

And what of those would-be Lotharios who are lulled into believing these pants are the answer to their prayers, an instant way to appear athletic and attractive? What if they get lucky and end up becoming er, intimate, with a female friend?

Aren’t they going to feel a bit cheated when their new fella strips off his thick high-waisted trunks and rolls of previously restrained fat come tumbling out? And that’s after the passion-killing time it will take to get out of these straitjacket-like strides.

If the man has also decided to invest in a Bodysculpt Vest – also known as a moob tube – then the situation could become even more awkward. A bit like trying to climb out of a wetsuit.

The comedian John Bishop tells a funny story about not packing his boxer shorts on a trip to Barcelona, going into a department store and somehow being sold a pair of pants with bottom-firming pads in because they don’t sell boxers in Spain.

He decided to wear them to get his own back for all those times he’d been ‘misled’ by ladies in Wonderbras.

No doubt there’ll be men nodding in agreement at this point. But I still think body sculpting is best left to artists in studios rather than Asda.