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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

image for Latest 'Spooks' series cancels 'body-in-bag' episode amid fears over Werritty lookalike actor
A clip rescued from the cutting room floor

London - Critics had already complained that the last episode's plotline was too close to the bone amid many unanswered questions about MI6 cryptographer Dr Gareth Williams' unexplained death.

This morning the seventh and final Spooks offering was on the cutting room floor after the head of the Beeb's Slight Entertainment Department noticed an unintentional howler in the program's casting.

Character actor Ludo Shuffcuffle's portrayal of a shadowy arms dealer in cahoots with a bizarre Isle of Wight cult hellbent on world domination is at the core of the shredding decision.

An excellent performance filmed late last year was marred by just one minuscule detail - the actor's uncanny physical resemblance to Adam Werritty, the ministerial pal in the Dr Liam Fox saga - forcing producers' hand to scupper the entire episode.

Shuffcuffle had been cast as the villain behind stealing encryption protocols from an MI6 operative credited with inventing a Stuxnet-proof voice recognition system designed for roll-out in UK embassies.

The actor's rather portly frame and somewhat piggy-ish facial features had been typecast for the role that saw him squish a top MI6 operative by sitting on his face before bundling him into a zip-up laundry bag subsequently discovered in a Heathrow courier company lock-up.

"No way could the Beeb ever air such material," a spoofy television critic commented today, "especially given the cameo role assigned to Liam Fox-lookalike Terry Wogan in the program's sub plot."

Series 10 ends in a fortnight and will be discontinued a Beeb TV Center spokesperson confirmed today.

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