Hospitals across the capital are reporting a surge in admissions today as a steady stream of TV Royal Correspondents appear to be signing themselves in for treatment. It's understood that they are all suffering from a new and worrying illness, seemingly brought on by The Diamond Jubilee, that media insiders are dubbing Grovel-meltdown.
The first high profile casualty is believed to be the BBC's Nicholas Witchell, who was spotted last night at UCLH looking completely deranged. A hospital source told reporters, "Nick is at the end of his tether. This Diamond Jubilee business is killing him, quite literally. He has spent the last two weeks grinning to camera for up to sixteen hours a day; filling in with endless, pointless inane drivel about the most tediously uninteresting royal trivia."
It's understood the well-loved veteran presenter, who coincidentally is known to be Prince Charles's personal favourite Royal Correspondent, finally flipped when he was asked to do a piece with a psychic who claimed to be able to predict the future of The Monarchy by analysing the Queen's Corgis' turds.
And meanwhile bosses at Sky News are stringently denying that roly-poly housewives' favourite, Eamonn Holmes is close to breaking-point at having to front-up their Jubilee coverage. Speculation intensified as his Sunrise co-presenter, Charlotte Hawkins, was seen leaving Hammersmith Hospital last night looking ashen-faced and shaken. In the light of no official statement having been released by the satellite broadcaster many are now drawing their own conclusions. Certainly Holmes is nowhere to be seen today following yesterday's marathon broadcast from the Thames River Pageant.
ITV is not immune from this worrying trend either with as yet further unconfirmed reports suggesting that Alastair Stewart spontaneously combusted last night on the set of ITV news.
Stewart, widely regarded by Royal watchers as the groveller par excellence, had just "thrown" to a VT report on The Thames Pageant, but when the item finished and the studio feed resumed he had been mysteriously been replaced by Julie Etchingham, who looked rattled and according to some viewers had tears in her eyes.
Spokesman for The National Union of Anchors, John Molloy, speaking to Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight said, "The strain on my members has become intolerable. How would you like to be under that sort of pressure yourself? Having to bow and scrape, fawn and coo, and tug your forelock continually at every utterance and reference to The Queen and the Royal Family; no matter how banal it is? It's hardly surprising that something's had to give. And believe me the major broadcasters will have to pay for this big time. You mark my words!"
Mr Molloy added, "And before anybody sees this as an anti-Royalist rant, I'd just like to pay my own personal tribute to Her Majesty. Sixty wonderful and glorious years and not so much as one foot put wrong. We're lucky to have her, oh yes! Her devotion to duty and personal sacrifice is amazing. The money and tourism she brings to these islands is simply staggering. Did I tell you I'm getting an OBE next January? Oops! Sorry don't let that bit go out as it's meant to be a secret. OK?"