Wallace and Gromit, the animated film stars from Wigan, are to split acrimoniously after nearly twenty years of working together.
The couple, stars of films like A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave and the recent Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, have decided to call it quits, and will formally part company in January.
Nick Park, who has acted as a kind of 'father figure' to the pair, told of irreconcilable differences, and of barnstorming rows over payments for movie appearances.
Gromit, believing himself to be Wallace's intellectual equal, if not his superior, had demanded a more lucrative pay deal, including bones, but this had been rejected by Aardman Animations, the characters' owner.
The split, which according to Park, has been "on the cards for some time", comes as the characters put the finishing touches to their latest project Wallace Treads In Shite, due for release at Christmas.
Peter Sallis, the voice of Wallace, told of his disappointment at a news conference today, saying:
"It's a tragedy, a tragedy. I love them dearly, but it's also important to remember that they're only plasticine models."
*Awarded only one star due to current whingeing