The phrase became popular in England on 29 May 2003, when the BBC defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan filed a newsreport for the BBC Today programme, stating that a senior British official told him that the September Dossier had been "sexed up", and that the intelligence agencies were concerned about "dubious" information that specifically claimed that Saddam Hussein could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of an order.
The information was used to justify the war with Iraq. Baron Hutton explained the term "sexed up" when used by the BBC as "a slang expression, thee meaning of which lacks clarity in the context of the dossier ... It is capable of two different meanings. It could mean that the dossier was embellished with items of intelligence known or believed to be false or unreliable to make the case against Saddam Hussein stronger or it could mean that whilst the intelligence contained in the dossier was believed to be reliable, the dossier was drafted in such a way as to make the case against Saddam Hussein as strong as the intelligence contained in it is permitted."