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Claire to give new M&S bra a lift


THE LAST time Marks & Spencer unleashed a major publicity campaign on the nation it featured the charms of a well-upholstered girl charging naked up a hill screaming 'I'm normal'. Now, however, the beleaguered High Street giant has decided to go back to basics by recruiting a celebrity - Claire Sweeney.


The actress, who plays bisexual Lindsey Corkhill in Brookside, was last week given the accolade of Rear of the Year - but now attention will focus on another part of her anatomy as she fronts the campaign to promote M&S's new bra. 


The company is jealously keeping details of the new bra, due out in August, close to its chest, but will be hoping Sweeney's recent high profile will help support its catastrophic performance. 


Rory Scott, director of M&S's lingerie business unit, is overjoyed to have signed her up. He said: 'We selected Claire for her personality, style and public perception that absolutely fit the image we want. She is confident and glamorous and the bra will ensure any woman feels the same.' 


As well as receiving plaudits for her posterior, Sweeney boosted the recent Celebrity Big Brother with her presence, and she is to present an upcoming dare devil TV show called Challenge of a Lifetime. 


Unlike many celebrity endorsements, Sweeney's new role for M&S is not a false exercise. After emerging from the Big Brother house she paid passionate homage to the retailer's underwear, and admitted spending about 200 on it a year. 


She said: 'I last treated myself just before Celebrity Big Brother because I knew I'd be getting changed in front of other girls.' 


Speaking to the London Evening Standard about her new bra ambassadorship, Sweeney said: 'I am a huge fan. I bought my first bra there, so to be asked to endorse a product like this is fantastic. I have always loved lingerie - this bra gives me amazing shape. The right bra is one that gives you cleavage, makes you feel sexy, womanly and wicked.' 


Only time will tell if Miss Sweeney's solid support encourages Britain's women to buy wicked bras at Marks - but, considering the year she's had so far, it might just work.