The BBC is to strip Children in Need's flagship fundraiser, Pudsey the Bear, of his modesty preserving eyepatch amidst swingeing cuts to the budget for this month's annual broadcast, according to reports.
Pudsey, who sustained the head wound when voluntarily skewering his own eye before removing it from its socket and placing directly into the mouth of starving child during a visit to Ethiopia in the eighties, is apoplectic at the prospect of having to go cap-in-hand to the public with his injury on full display.
A spokesman for the Corporation, Michael Trout, denied the move placed the broadcaster in a contrary position to that of the shows fundraising prerogative.
He told us, 'That's typical nonsense from media critics eager to bash the BBC at any available opportunity.'
'We, in direct contrast to our detractors, feel this move means that finally Pudsey the Bear is like the very children who he represents which such aplomb on a yearly basis.'
'Think about it.'
'He is now, just like those starving, uneducated children whose pained features we use to doorstep the British public into donating the money that their government steadfastly refuses to, someone to be used for excruciating every single penny from the over tugged heart strings of the nation.
'There is no doubt his open head wound will engender additional sympathy in the form of hard cash.'
The spokesman denied claims that Terry Wogan was to be stripped of his hairpiece to encourage bald sympathisers to donate.
'It's the alcohol he'll be stripped of.'