The middle classes of Britain have today gone into shock after revelations that their favourite radio station, BBC Radio 4, has been dumping thousands of tons of toxic smugness into rivers and lakes all over the country. It is thought that stickleback numbers may never recover and the full extent of the damage is still unknown.
"It turns out Radio 4's presenters and guests between them were producing such vast oceans of smugness that they simply couldn't pump it all out over the airwaves," explained Chief Inspector Radcliffe, who is leading efforts to uncover full details of what some are calling 'The worst environmental crime since Bill Oddie.'
"We're not sure how long this has been going on," another officer said. "We think they may have been polluting the nation for years, decades even. Under cover of apparently innocent programs like 'The Archers' and 'Woman's hour' it seems they may have been scattering smugness around the country in the small hours of the morning, dumping it from sewage trucks, and believe me it very quickly turns toxic when released into the environment. Expect kids to be born with two heads and half a brain, if you know what I mean."
There has been much speculation about why Radio 4 would wish to produce such a surplus of smugness. "It looks like they just got carried away," said one commentator. "They got such a kick out of pretending to be the voice of authority on everything from Iranian politics to grooming your dahlias that they just couldn't bring themselves to stop. I guess smugness is a bit like crack - a tricky habit to break, and just when you think you're off it for good along comes Stephen Fry and you're fucked."
Defenders of Radio 4 have said that while they admit the smugness can be difficult to endure sometimes, Radio 4 at least always gives a balanced view of everything, in the best BBC tradition. "If that means we produce a bit too much smugness sometimes," said a Radio 4 insider, "Well, I think that's a small price to pay for being right about everything. By 'right' I mean 'well-balanced' of course. It's the same thing if you don't think about it too much."
Many of their middle class listeners have expressed disappointment at the behaviour of Radio 4, but it seems none of them are turning off yet. "I'm waiting to hear what 'Feedback' says about it," says John Tatchell of Putney, echoing similar attitudes across the country. "You can't really judge something until you've heard both sides of the story on Radio 4 can you?"