Unbelievable, but since Iraqi TV began showing "Coronation St" 6 months ago, violence has decreased by 87% on the streets of Iraq.
Where force and diplomacy have failed, "Our Ken" and the cast of "Coro" have had a huge impact on the situation in that troubled land.
"it's quite, quite extraordinary", said Maj. Gen. Cuthbert "cuddles" Fanshaw-Smythe, "Our chaps are being pestered all day long for the plot of 'Coro', apparently, back in Blighty they are 6 months ahead of here in Iraq. Personally I fail to understand why the Iraqis are so jolly keen on a programme about our dear Queen's coronation, but jolly good, I say, Splendid.
It is believed that the Iraqi population have become addicted to the show, the streets are deserted when it is broadcast. Some unscrupulous soldiers have resorted to selling bootleg copies of the show, sent out from the UK by family members.
The Taleban have opened a replica "Rovers Return" in Baghdad complete with female impersonater barmaids selling non-alcoholic Pale Ale. The catchphrase "Eh oop our Ken" has become a popular greeting with Iraqi youth.
The effect of the show has been dramatic, the Iraqis now identify with the British soldiers in particular, and have become in the words of one bemused squaddie "Quite friendly".
The M.O.D. is monitoring the effect closely, plans are in place for "Eastenders" to be trialed, whilst the Americans are considering "Cheers".
Tentative plans have been mooted to twin Baghdad with Bolton, and Ryanair are actively looking at direct flights to cater for the huge demand from the area for trips to the soon to be re-opened "Coro" set at Granada TV studios.