DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES star James Denton was in for a birthday shock yesterday (20JAN06) when US chat show host ELLEN DeGENERES tricked him into posing for his own cake design.

The actor turned 43 and DeGeneres made a point of making sure the big day didn't go unnoticed on her show.

After persuading Denton, who plays hunky plumber Mike Delfino on Desperate Housewives, to drop his trousers and pose in his boxer shorts during a commercial break, Ellen had the image captured and transferred onto a birthday cake.