Readers of the Sunday Times were surprised today by words misattributed to former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott.
"You can't help who you love," he was alleged to have said. "And despite everything, I still love Ashley Cole."
According to the Sunday Times, the lifetime peer revealed how he spent a "lost week" holed up in a luxury hotel, shopping online and living on room service, after being sensationally dropped from the US X-Factor panel by Simon Cowell.
This came as a surprise to Sunday Times readers, who weren't even aware that Prescott, 73, had been considered for the role.
"The fact that a world class statesman was passed over in favour of Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger is a damning indictment of US television," said Bournemouth-based salesman John Pursey.
The Sunday Times issued a short apology via Twitter.
"The mix-up was purely a production error," said editor James Harding. "The words were attributed to Lord Prescott, when they should have been attributed to Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls."
A second apology went out soon after.
This isn't the first time that Lord Prescott has fallen afoul of a newspaper gaffe. In 1998, over a thousand Sun readers complained when he was accidentally featured as a Page 3 girl.
In other news, the outlook is improving for beleaguered popstar Cheryl Cole. According to the Times, she is receiving a CBE for services to drama after her Bafta-winning portrayal of the Queen's father, King George VI, in The King's Speech.
"She's delighted," said a spokesman. "After the rough time she's had, recognition like this is just what she needs."