Entertainment guru Simon Cowell is reported to be "a touch narky" following news that the pilot episode of Libya's Got Talent, set to be recorded this weekend, has been put on hold due to heavy-arms bombardment of the television studio in Sirte.
News of the postponement spread quickly throughout Libya, causing mass celebration and calls for a cessation of hostilities, but rebel leaders have been more circumspect: "Now is the time to discuss our power-sharing terms," said Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi. "We require full and fair access to the auditions, a guaranteed quota for passing to the elimination stages and a promise that we will no longer have to endure the threat of Michael McIntyre."
Gaddafi has refused to acknowledge the rebels, saying that the show will be delayed by a week whilst it relocates to Sirte Stadium, but will go ahead as planned. Insiders, however, say that he has decided not to perform his own routine at the open-air venue, claiming that the longstanding leader is fearful of being publicly shamed by a live wardrobe malfunction, along with the constant threat of sniper fire.
UK Foreign Minister William Hague was keen to avoid the phrase "in exile" when suggesting that Gaddafi might prefer to appear via satellite link "from another country", but the Libyan leader has dismissed this suggestion, saying that he will not pull out and that his plan to perform The Pussycat Dolls hit "Don't Cha" in a PVC miniskirt whilst simultaneously acting as judge and jury of his own act will be a "once in a lifetime experience".
Despite the announcement of increased security at the venue, one anonymous rebel sniper has confirmed that he would be taking his rifle along to the show: "I'll definitely be there taking pot shots at the unpopular bastard," he said, "but I'm a pretty good shot -- I reckon I'd be able hit Cowell right between the eyes without hurting anyone else."
[ABLY ASSISTED BY JP1885]