The miners trapped underground in the copper and gold mine in Chile say they have had "just about enough" of the glare of publicity which has surrounded their entombment for the last three weeks, and have called for the media to focus their attention on something more interesting instead.
The 33 miners, trapped 700m below the surface for the last 26 days, say they have heard nothing but "Chilean miners this" and "Chilean miners that" for almost a month now, and are tiring of it. A statement read out through a tiny hole last night, and said:
"We appreciate that we are trapped in the depths of the mine in a potentially life-threatening position, but request that reporters refrain from airing any more trivia concerning our situation until we are freed from this hellhole."
It went on:
"Please, please, please, bring up some fags and beer."
The request follows endless updates on the condition of the miners, including:
- when the first contact was established
- concern for their mental state
- details about their psychological welfare
- their elation as a drill crept inches closer
- the fact that they had been refused cigarettes and alcohol
- the first hot meal they have been given (meatballs, chicken and rice)
and other such nonsensical page-filling reports.
The call for silence on the matter is likely to be ignored by the BBC, who are having a field day with the crisis, with a myriad of excited scribblers eagerly penning more and more bizarre drivel for the masses of lunchtime internet users to idly scan whilst eating baguettes and supping cans of Diet Coke.