It was to be the event of the political year today as finally a group of elected MPs got the chance to grill Rupert Murdoch and his son James on their stewardship of News International during the phone-hacking scandal.
However, the keenly awaited hearing of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee turned to farce as it soon became apparent that some of the protagonists had come armed not with questions and answers but with items of a very different nature.
Proceedings began on schedule with questions from Labour MP Tom Watson to Murdoch Snr eliciting murmurs, shrugs and blank looks from the wizened octogenarian. "I don't remember" became the mantra as he leaned back in his seat and rested his feet on the desk in front.
All at once James Murdoch turned to his father and said:"There's something else you've forgotten, pops!" "What, son?" replied Murdoch. "It's your birthday!" cried James, unzipping his attache case to reveal a large cream-topped pie which he proceeded to push full into his father's face.
Shocked silence from spectators in the room turned to delighted laughter as one by one the MPs on the committee rose from their seats, solemnly approached Rupert Murdoch and deposited their own "creme surprises" in his lap and onto the top of his head, returning to their chairs in cheery disarray.
Rising painfully to his feet, Murdoch wiped the froth from his eyes, and turned slowly to his team of advisors seated behind him.
"Okay, boys," he growled. "Let 'em have it!"
Four Men In Grey Suits stood as one, reached into their briefcases and began pelting the committee with well aimed water bombs. Rupert's wife Wendi Deng got in a couple of smart shots herself, catching MP Paul Farrelly on the side of the head just as he made to duck under a desk.
"Strike one for China!" shouted Murdoch, punching the air. "Let's all go for a drink," he added. "I'm paying!"