Prime Minister David Cameron has cut short his Cornish holiday to deal with the growing crisis gripping the UK following the shock disappearance for a day of hit US sitcom Friends from TV schedules.
The UK has come to rely on daily repeats of Friends, which first appeared on british screens in 1994. Since then, not a day has passed when the adventures of Rachael, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross has not aired.
The Samatitans has reported a 56% increase in telephone calls from distraught members of the public, many of whom have threatened suicide. The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has appealed for calm and has asked the people of Britain to to do anything rash 'until the boss returns'.
In a statement, Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport described the crisis as nothing short of a disaster. "This government, like the previous government, has come to rely on never-ending repeats of Friends to keep large swathes of the population sedated. The inoffensive humour and sight of Jennifer Aniston's permanently erect nipples has a powerful calming effect. Without it, we could easily see a rise in antisocial activity and even broad civil unrest.
"I appeal to TV schedulers to do the right thing and ensure that a minimum of one episode is shown everyday on E4, repeated one hour later on E4+1. The perfect scenario would be three episodes shown back-to-back."
E4, which has the rights to broadcast Friends in the UK until the year 2525, has apologised to viewers for the oversight. "The chap in charge of changing the tapes is new." said an unnamed spokesman. "He's not a fan of Friends himself and prefers Seinfeld, so he didn't understand the ramifications of his actions. But he certainly understands now. This won't happen again."
David Cameron's favourate episode of Friends is rumoured to be The One Where Ross Can't Flirt. However, Nick Clegg has confirmed that his favourate episode is The One With Chandler's Work Laugh. Opposition politicians have pointed to this disagreement as proof of a rift in the coalition government.