A 43-year-old Whitechapel man has told The Whelk that he routinely uses a joke, hand on a spring, to turn down the central heating thermostat when his wife’s not looking.

Toby Dell, a forklift truck engineer, told us: “I spotted this hand on a spring device in a joke shop in Aldgate and immediately thought it would be just the thing for turning the heating down without actually walking over to it and getting a load of abuse.

“It’s been brilliant to be fair. I regularly turn it down a few notches while the missus watches telly, and, so far, she doesn’t seem to have noticed.

“She did ask me what the hand on a spring was for the other day, so I just told her it was for stroking the cat without having to bend down or get up from my armchair.”

It is estimated that the average British woman’s central heating adjustments melt the polar ice caps by 7 square miles during an episode of Homes Under The Hammer between late Spring and mid-June every year.