Fans of I’m a Celebrity, Get me out of Here have been left disappointed at the news that Robert Mugabe has had to pull out at the last minute.
The news comes as the Zimbabwean army seize control of the state broadcaster in what they claim is ‘definitely not a coup, so don’t even worry’.
Mr Mugabe’s withdrawal leaves the producers of the popular reality show in something of a quandary.
“It is a disappointment, we’d been looking to get an elderly despot on the show for some years,” said producer Becca Walker.
“I mean, Robert Kilroy-Silk doesn’t really count, does he?
“So having Mr Mugabe on the show would have been a real coup, if you’ll pardon the pun.
“He’d have been a genuine scream, attempting to seize Stanley Johnson’s land and denouncing Jennie McAlpine as a witch. It would have been brilliant.
“Then, as the show goes on, we could have seen the brutal dictator form an unusual friendship with ex-Chelsea tough guy Dennis Wise from which they would have both learned something.”
Sadly, with Mr Mugabe forced to return home to deal with a situation that is definitely not a coup, producers have been forced to find a replacement.
“We wanted to stick with an elderly despot, so we tried Donald Trump first, as he rarely seems busy,” continued Ms Walker.
“But no access to Twitter was a deal-breaker. Putin was interested provided he could spend the fortnight topless but there were scheduling difficulties.
“So, we’re currently holding out hopes for Tony Blair or Noel Edmonds.”