Anticipation is over for Fifty Shades fans

IT’S the book that got millions of housewives hot under the collar, prompted dozens of copycat novels and even sparked sales in e-readers to avoid embarrassing blushes on the daily commute.

Dakota Johnson as Anastasia "Ana" Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey.

But now, after months of anticipation, fans of the EL James novel Fifty Shades of Grey can finally see the big screen adaptation.

The film, which had its London premiere last night, has had a mixed reaction from critics but has already proved to be a hit at the box office, with more than £1 million in advance ticket sales. Its stars, Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, who play Christian Grey and his lover Anastasia Steele, hit the red carpet in Leicester Square.

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Fifty Shades of Grey has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide since its release in 2011. It heralded two sequels - and a renewed interest in racier bedroom antics.

Such has been the expectation surrounding the film, firefighters in London have urged people to take care as they recreate its steamy scenes, after a rise in call-outs over people getting trapped in compromising situations since the release of the book.

London Fire Brigade third officer Dave Brown said: “The Fifty Shades effect seems to spike handcuff incidents, so we hope film-goers will use common sense and avoid leaving themselves red-faced.”

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service asked that film goers “use a bit of common sense.”

A leaked memo from B&Q said staff have been asked to prepare for an increase in demand for rope, cable ties and tape.

The film itself is said to less racy than the novels, but has an 18 certificate. It has split opinion among critics, with comments ranging from “naff” to “classy”.

Most scathing was Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian, who described it as “the most tasteful and softcore depiction of sadomasochism in cinema history”, but David Edwards in the Daily Mirror gave it three stars, likening it to “porn for people who shop at Marks & Spencer.”