IT was yesterday announced that the Pope and several other religious parties are planning a sequel to bestseller 'The Holy Bible' as part of their Christmas and New Year celebrations. It is expected that Richard Branson's Virgin company will publish the book, which is likely to be a "prequel" to the Global phenomenon that was its predecessor. Focusing on the truth behind the 'Big Bang', and told through the eyes of popular original character The Virgin Mary's parents, the announcement of the new book is said to be triggered by the enormous success of the new Harry Potter novel, which has now outsold the Bible by two to one. An insider told the Spoof, "Jesus Christ is expected to appear in the book at some point. He was a very successful character in the first one." Previously referred to, but as yet unseen, character God may also be present in the new book.
The Pope was too busy signing autographs to comment last night, but a spokesman said "Tecum, dominus, benedictus, maximus". Wise words indeed. Highly religious rock star Alice Cooper rang us upon the announcement, and said "Personally, I can't wait to find out how this baby turns out. I'm a big fan."
Ladbrokes was this morning set to take bets on who will attain the movie rights to 'The Bible 2'. Steven Spielberg is 3/2 favourite as director, with the late Alfred Hitchcock at 1,000,000,000/1. Odds of Robert Powell (of The Detectives fame) reprising his famous role as the son of God from TV's 'Jesus Of Nazareth' are 50/1. Brit actor Jude Law is hotly tipped as the next Jesus, at 4/1, with Eddie Izzard holding an outside chance at 70/1. The Virgin Mary's parents are rumoured to be played by Sue Johnston and Ricky Tomlinson, better known as Barbara and Jim from BBC TV series The Royle Family, with Charlotte Church as a young Mary and Brit comedians The Chuckle Brothers as Cain and Abel.
The new Bible is expected in shops by Christmas 2007 and the Pope is said to be privately hoping to outsell J.K. Rowling's child wizard and reclaim the top spot on the all-time best sellers list, but it could be a tough job to pull off; Rowling's 17th Potter book is due out at the same time, Harry Potter and the Wisdom Tooth, and has already sold 17 billion copies based on pre-bookings.