British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler have finally been released by their Somali pirate kidnappers after spending 388 days in captivity. The British government, which had earlier refused to hand over the high ransom demanded by the pirates, is preparing to welcome the pair back into the UK with a package of events aimed at reacquainting them into western life. Mr Roger Jolly, spokesman for the Government, said earlier "It is extremely important that Mr and Mrs Chandler's experience does not put them off participating in pirate related activities in the future" which, Mr Jolly added, is "vital for the stability of the UK economy in these times of austerity." Mr Jolly further urged the couple to remember that 'not all pirates are that bad'.
Upon their return, Mr and Mrs Chandler will first attend a primary school in Tunbridge Wells where they will be entertained by Johnny Depp appearing as his 'hilarious' character Captain Jack Sparrow and the children of class 4B, before moving on to the Patch and Parrot public house in Dumpton, Kent, for a welcome home meal sponsored by the International Talk Like a Pirate Day committee.
Mr and Mrs Chandler were reported to be in good spirits when released but made only one comment to the press, stating that being kidnapped was 'not funny'.
The couple are to be represented by media publicist Max Clifford.
More on this story as it unfolds.