Ideas and material for a new series of Harry Enfield's comedy show with Paul Whitehouse have been stolen from numerous other shows.
The thoughts and jokes and characters had all been lifted from such earlier programmes as The Dick Emery Show, but a BBC spokeswomanperson said the programme wouldn't be affected, as 'there are hundreds more shows we can pilfer from in the archives'.
The Unoriginality Police are investigating the theft, but said they were not considering calling in the Plagiarist Squad, as the theft had been too cleverly papered over to allow a prosecution for outright copying.
An anonymous witness to the theft said: 'Ees a like thees, no? I seet aroun an eat my kebabs, and watch the Arse on the TV, and 'one neel to the Arse!' we is soon seenging! And I have my copies of all the old comedy shows behind the counter - Dick Emery, Eric Sykes, Benny the Hill, even the Pythons. Then thees man he come in and he grab them all and run away! 'Stop, or I geev you food-poisons!', I bravely shout after heem, but ees too late, the shows is all stolen.'
And another one added: 'Oi! See me, right, I get up and I fink 'Oo shall I 'alf inch me ideas from today?', then I does it, and makes loaaaaaaaaaadsamoney! It's a larf, innit? Rehashing all that Benny 'ill and Dick Hemery stuff, money for old rope, mate! I loves me comedy, especially when uvvah people's wrote it, like. But Dick Hemery, 'e's the best, the master of all them characters'n'stuff, same ones week after week, same jokes repeated week after week.'
'But if Hemery was to sneak into to my house when I was finking deep foughts, annat, and was to steal one of me ideas, I'd say - 'Oi, Hemery! Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!!'
'You may have written and performed years of sketches wiv lots of different characters to make me larf as a child, and given untold merriment to families froughout the 1970s, but you ain't nicking any of me ideas now in two fahsand and nine! Either give it back or I'll be forced to copy all of your ideas in return!'
Peter Sellers is on holiday.