A novelty car sticker depicting the popular TV actress Ruth Madoc has been blamed for a 500% increase in road traffic accidents. The sticker shows the 'Hi-de-hi' star with her hands outstretched and a look of surprise on her face, as if a rampant bull is about to charge in her general direction or already has from the other.
The problem appears to have been caused by car users positioning the life-sized sticker directly in front of their steering wheel, making it impossible to see ahead. Some drivers have been known to be hypnotised in the intractable grip of Ms Madoc's fulsome pout, effectively surrendering their lives and those of their passengers to the idle whims of chance and fate.
"It's distracting", said one former Major General yesterday. "I've always been a fan of her work, right up to "Oh Dr Beeching" but this sticker is something of an anomaly in her canon, though a rare treat."
When I pointed out that Ms Madoc had declined to star in the erstwhile Paul Shane/ Jeffrey Holland vehicle, the Major suddenly leapt over the fencing separating pedestrians from the roundabout where we were standing and ran away in to the night, dodging an onslaught of cars and lorries like some latter day Frogger.
The sticker has been a top seller for toy manufacturer Hasbro, who have ignored calls to remove the product from shelves. "The 'Fear and surprise" range of car stickers has been a top seller for us", said a spokesman. "The Ruth Madoc sticker is second only to the Tiim Henman/Toulouse Lautrec chimera sticker. At no point in the packaging does it suggest placing the sticker across the windscreen. It is intended for the side windows."