DUNCAN BARKES Shane loses his rugged looks for love of Liz

These days it is virtually impossible to open a newspaper or magazine without seeing a shot of Aussie cricketer Shane Warne, looking like he has been made over by Gok Wan, smirking up at me.

This kind of make-over puts pressure on blokes across the land.

It is men like Warne who prompt Mrs B to suggest a trip to Chichester’s Army & Navy to check out moisturiser, or to contemplate a torture session in the waxing salon.

Warne’s transition has been staggering.

Since hooking up with Liz Hurley the once chain-smoking, hard-drinking bloke from Down Under has become more Sheila than Bruce.

Gone are the fags, ale, bushy eyebrows and unkempt hair. Instead he now resembles a boutique mannequin – his face is so unnaturally unlined he looks as if he has spent too long in front of a log fire and is on the cusp of meltdown.

We all know a woman can leave a bloke spellbound.

As a long-time fan of Miss Hurley, I can easily understand why Warne allowed himself to be cajoled into such an extreme metrosexual transformation.

Giving up the smokes and booze and turning to a life of facial scrub, sit-ups and organic goji-berry diet shakes might be tough, but then he does get to hop into the sack with Hurley every night.

But this is Shane Warne we are talking about: one of the best bowlers on the planet and a giant.

It is a sense of betrayal akin to one of your own letting you down.

Warne has crossed to the dark side. He is no longer a real man.

Chaps who are appalled by his behaviour should however take comfort in an article I read recently about Sir Ian Botham and how he used to prepare for a match.

The single-handed Ashes winner described how he would get to the cricket ground in his own time, have a pork pie and a cigar, and then sit in the bath with the Sporting Life and a hot coffee.

He would then go and demolish the Aussies. This is what being a real bloke is all about.

We may have lost Warne, but as long as we have stories like this about Beefy Botham then the flame of ‘real man’ still burns brightly.

And if you see Mrs B, you can tell her that the only moisturising I shall be doing is the kind that entails massaging single malt into the vocal chords.

* Waxing lyrical?

Talking of primping and priming, if I were to put myself into the hands of a beautician then there would only be one woman I would trust.

Just about to launch her new salon Beauteek in The Hornet, Chichester, the gorgeous Emilia and her team are offering ladies and gentlemen the ultimate ‘me time’ spoiling.

With a wide range of beauty treatments and therapies coupled with unrivalled customer service, I’m sure Beauteek will be a splendid success – just keep your wax off my woolly bits, girls!