Police have charged annoying television presenters Ant and Dec today in connection with a notorious hoax that diverted officers during their hunt 25 years ago for the "Yorkshire Ripper". The alleged entertainers, both from the bitterly cold North Eastern part of England known as 'The North-East', were charged with perverting the course of justice and making rubbish television programmes, and ordered to appear before magistrates in Leeds.
Police have been hopelessly searching for the hoaxer (now known to be have been hoaxers) who sent them grammatically incorrect letters and an audiotape back in 1979. The letters and tape goaded them for failing to catch the Ripper, a clearly unpleasant individual who rather unfairly killed 13 women between 1975 and 1980.
The hoax diverted vital resources from the hunt for the real killer, bearded nasty person Peter Sutcliffe, who was (quite rightly) jailed for life in 1981 for the murders. Instead, the police wrongly concentrated their efforts on the frozen North-East. Valuable time was wasted interviewing thousands of Geordies through interpreters.
Ant and Dec's earliest attempt at a practical joke - when they were still extremely young - now seems to have backfired with both of them facing lengthy prison sentences after failing to disguise their cheeky Geordie accents and awful use of English.
The tape, sent to Assistant Chief Constable George Oldfield in June 1979, taunted the police manhunt: "Whyaye man! I'm Jack. I see you are still having no luck catching me, pet. You must be some sort of noodle-head, man! You are no nearer catching me now than when I started in Byker Grove."
Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are almost famed for their near-hilarious wind-ups on ITV's "Saturday Night Take-Away" show. By using a mixture of unconvincing prosthetic make-up and barely accurate voices they've fooled dumb celebrities from Busted to former royal news reporter Jenny Bond into thinking that they were someone other than two idiots from up north.
In one of their most famously crap pranks they travelled to Chicago to audition for American Idol and managed to fool Simon Cowell into believing they were talented.
David McDavids, a police insider who asked not to be named, admitted mistakes may have been made:
"From their modus operandi it is surprising we didn't catch Ant and Dec sooner. The poor taste of the joke and difficult to understand accents should have set alarm bells ringing."