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Last Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008, 09:24 GMT
Paxman to meet M&S over underwear
Jeremy Paxman
Paxman said they would discuss topics including "pants and elastic"
The chief executive of Marks and Spencer is to meet Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman, who has expressed concern about the quality of the chain's underwear.

"Their pants no longer provide adequate support," he was quoted as saying after an e-mail to the company was leaked.

Socks were "wearing out much more quickly" than before, the star added.

He and Sir Stuart Rose would meet, said a Marks and Spencer spokeswoman, who added: "The quality of our underwear is probably the highest it's ever been."

The private correspondence from Paxman, 57, was obtained by the Mail on Sunday.

It has been the subject of widespread consultation, from my gym to the Houses of Parliament
Jeremy Paxman

"I've noticed that something very troubling has happened," he told the newspaper.

"There's no other way to put this. Their pants no longer provide adequate support.

"The other thing is socks. Even among those of us who clip our toenails very rigorously, they appear to be wearing out much more quickly on the big toe."

Customers 'happy'

The presenter - who also hosts University Challenge - said he had not intended the matter to have been made public.

"But I do feel that someone should take up this mighty battle. I was astonished, when I raised it with people, that they all said the same thing.

Sir Stuart Rose
Sir Stuart Rose was made a knight in last month's New Year's Honours
"It has been the subject of widespread consultation, from my gym to the Houses of Parliament."

Marks and Spencer said that "obviously Jeremy Paxman is entitled to his views and will be meeting Stuart to discuss them at some point".

"It's important to remember that we sell underwear to one in four men in the UK," a spokeswoman told the BBC News website.

"They're very, very popular and most of our customers are very happy with the quality of our product."

The company recorded a 2.2% drop in like-for-like sales in the final quarter of 2007, its worst performance for two years, and has warned of tough trading conditions in 2008.

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