During these past two years we've all become accustomed to the concept of "Austerity Britain" and nowhere are the cuts biting harder and deeper than at the BBC.
Budgets have been trimmed back so radically that it's no secret the corporation is having to box cleverer to get shows to our screens; but if you thought it couldn't get any worse than the abysmally dire lunchtime low-budget soap, Doctors, then think again.
In a new initiative Auntie's world renowned Drama Department has been disbanded and henceforth new drama offerings will be provided by amateur dramatic groups from in and around the Home Counties.
A tearful James Nesbitt was said to be distraught last night and a source close to the Cold Feet star told the press, "Jimmy's gutted. After getting away with riding the gravy train now for so long he just doesn't know what he's going to do."
It's understood that the first offering to be broadcast under the new regime will be a production of the Lloyd-Webber and Rice evergreen, Joseph; performed live this coming Saturday evening by The St Michael's Anglican Church Strolling Players, based in Watford.
And in a desperate attempt to bolster ratings, the public will be asked to phone-in at the conclusion of the performance to vote for the cast member they feel has been the worst performer in the production. That unlucky winner will be given a severe dressing down before being thrown off the set during a glitzy results show scheduled for the following evening.
Preparations are being made amid so much secrecy that it would put MI5 to shame, and it's strongly rumoured that the results show, being seen as make or break for the entire venture, is being put in what Auntie obviously likes to think is a very safe pair of hands.
As yet there has been no official confirmation, but it can be revealed that super-smooth beardy broadcasting legend, Noel Edmonds, was recently seen strolling on nearby Shepherd's Bush Green, fuelling speculation that he is once more about to walk the corridors of TV Centre. However whether he will be accompanied by Mr Blobby remains a closely guarded secret.