London - (Riotous): Two British national tabloid newspapers have been spoofed by satirical website The Spoof! after running a major news item about beleagured pop singer Britney Spears shaving her head because "she thought lice were eating her hair extensions".
The item was published by the Daily Mail and its sister paper the London Evening Standard on 21 Fenruary and carried no source attribution of the alarming news which was written as a serious report.
But a brief search on the internet has discovered that the origin of this specious story was a parody written on the day of Britney's close shave with the shears, Saturday 17 February, and posted on The Spoof's site under the banner 'Britney: rehab lice ate my extensions'.
Other news items on The Spoof! site that day included the priceless 'Britney Spears Shaved Bald Due to Head Lice' which too was omitted from the tabloids' billings in a slip up that defies professional codes of practice going back to The Times immemorial.
Regular contributors to The Spoof! are now up in arms at this flagrant breach of professional etiquette and are pointing out that the tabloids' writers are all paid hacks who are obliged to check and credit their stories before publication.
"But here on The Spoof! we are all poor, unpaid part-time satirists blogging for the sheer hell of the absurdity of life not to mention a chance to poke the odd tongue-in-cheek swipe at everyday names who deserve to be shaken off their high and mighty perches once in a while.
"And that includes Britney!"
The tabloids in question have been given a little time to consult their attorneys after one of The Spoof's bloggers turned out to be an experienced barrister and QC with over 25 years' experience an an enviable number of scalps on her Chambers' mantlepiece.
Readers are advised to Watch This Space