In a sensational move yesterday, God, omnipotent creator of all things bright and beautiful etc. etc. threw in the towel and resigned with immediate effect.
"I've had it up to here", said a clearly upset God. "I thought I'd have had a lot more fun in the job."
"At first, it was great, y'know, making giraffes and manatees, kangaroos n' stuff.
"Even the back-breaking stuff, sliding continental plates about was fun compared to nowadays."
"I s'pose I could have called time on it, and kicked off Armageddon, but, to be honest, I couldn't be arsed."
"I've done the job for a few thousand years now, and I think it's time for a fresh outlook - time for a new man. I'm off to work on my golf. My short game has gone to shit since I got involved in this."
Rumours abound on Earth as in Heaven, as to who God will select as his successor.
His only son, Jesus, is still travelling in his VW campervan. He has been spotted lately in South America, in the region of Machu Pichu, but has previously ruled himself out of the running.
Tony Blair would seem a natural choice. Mr. Blair has never hidden his phenomenal self-belief under a bushel, and has built a lifelong career of appearing to be holier-than-thou, constantly pontificating and sticking his nose into other people's private lives.
However, doubts arise due to his growing unpopularity. "It's the smarminess that turns off the public" said a source close to the Godhead. "It's unlikely that Jehovah will pick Blair. He thinks that, should Tony be given the job, the ego of the man may become uncontrollable."
The only other 'stand-out' candidate appears to be Mustapha Kamir, of Barnsley, Yorkshire.
A source close to God (who must remain unnamed, but is probably the only Arch Angel most people could name) said, God is very taken with Mustapha, and believes him to have the required natural qualities."
From a humble background, Mustapha Karim has become one of Barnsley's most respected Tommy Cooper impressionists, and it is that innate sense of humour that impresses God so much.
He has also shown those who would create chaos across the planet short shrift. Said the Arch Angel, "his treatment of Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli guy in the recent peace talks showed a natural mastery"
"And Mustapha comes from Yorkshire, long claimed by Yorkshiremen as 'God's Country'. Most people just think that saying such a thing is just an example of Yorkshire bluntness, but the truth is, God used to live in Huddersfield. When 'e were a lad o'course."