The Foreign Office is to carry out an urgent review of export licences after allegations that some jokes and other comedy material devised and created in the U.K. may have been used in some of the most appalling U.S. comedy shows.
An unnamed source Stateside commented that there has been a considerable number of written affidavits presented to a prominent U.S. broadcast network testifying to the veracity of these claims.
"Shows such as "Fresh Prince" and "Futurama" may well have benefited from the covert insertion of non U.S. material that was not intended for that specific purpose."
While the U.K. cannot claim to have an unblemished record in the field of distinctly naff comedy shows - "Love The Neighbour", "Fresh Fields" and anything starring Wendy Craig springs to mind - the suggestion that British comedy writers might have had anything to do with some of the howlers mentioned above (however inadvertently) , has convinced the Coalition Government to act quickly and decisively.
Until further notice, the granting of all export licences is suspended pending a comprehensive review of the current system.
Asked whether Britain's trade figures might be adversely affected by this action, a Foreign Office spokesman replied "Sometimes its not about money. Maintaining the nation's intellectual credibility is priceless".