In the flurry of excitement earlier this week accompanying the launch of the government’s economic rescue plan, one piece of small print was overlooked.
Besides part-nationalising leading UK banks, Gordon Brown is also part-nationalising leading UK television programmes.
The following changes are to be implemented over the next few weeks to ensure confidence remains high in the country’s TV favourites.
1) STRICTLY COME DANCING
Craig Revel Horwood to be replaced by Vince Cable (“Your dancing is less like Fred Astaire and more like Fred Flintstone”). Scoring system to be replaced with portfolio of Union Jacks (i.e. “I’ll give that five flags out of five – well done!”)
Role of Charlie Fairhead to be played by Dr Liam Fox. Hospital to be renamed The Albion. 10% of all patients to be MPs with genuine medical complaints.
3) THE X FACTOR
Louis Walsh to be replaced with Kenneth Clarke (“I think you’re a really pretty group of girls and I would like to see you step out in style to True Blue next week!”) Themes for future editions to include: Britain; British landmarks; British politicians; British trade and industry; why Britain is the best.
4) THE ONE SHOW
Ken Livingstone to replace Adrian Chiles. Edwina Currie to replace the other one. Programme will come live from the back of a flat-bed truck travelling around the country, visiting struggling businesses and banks to cheer up employees and rally morale with singalongs and quirky tales of the lighter side of life.
5) THE BILL
10% of all crimes to be real ones. Sir Ian Blair to become new boss of Sun Hill. Each edition to feature a cameo from a former Home Secretary, dispensing words of wisdom and calm. Confirmed so far: Douglas Hurd, Charles Clarke, Merlyn Rees, Leon Brittan (to be renamed Leon Britain until the crisis ends).
Residents to launch an I’m Backing Britain campaign, culminating in a street party in Albert Square with characters dressed as Arthur Askey, a Flump, Busby the British Telecom bird, Fred from the Homepride adverts, the Blitz, 1966, and a stiff upper lip. Mick Jagger to make a guest appearance with Dot Cotton during a ‘guess the weight of the cake’ scene.