A day of national lottery mourning has been declared in the UK to mark the death of Lotto machine 'Arthur', who collapsed and died after coming off stage following his latest appearance.
The well-known entertainer was given first aid by BBC engineering staff who managed to resuscitate him 'by switching the stupid thing off and on a couple of times'. He was then air-lifted from Television Centre to nearby Hammersmith Hospital where surgeons tried unsuccessfully to revive the ageing machine by 'fiddling with the switches a bit', commenting 'we're a bloody hospital, not an electronics workshop'.
Early reports say that the initial collapse of 'Arthur' was caused by over-exertion, having made in excess of 250 live televised shows performing supposedly-randomised draws -- the heaviest workload of any of the eleven machines employed by lottery cartel Camelot. His screen-wife 'Guinevere' is said to be 'genuinely devastated' by the loss of her long-term partner, 'as opposed to fake-devastated like Sarah Ferguson.'
Newspapers called for the retirement of 'Arthur' in early 2009 amid rumours that he was suffering from Alzheimer's after the accidental double-draw of green ball '32' during one show. An official statement explaining the incident put the mistake down to 'tiredness brought on by his attendance at the Brit Awards', a show where he infamously propositioned Leona Lewis live on stage and caused a widespread scandal after reports that he'd got the ginger one from Girls Aloud pregnant.
The cause of death is still to be determined by the coroner, but some commenters say that 'Arthur' may have blown a fuse after the particularly impressive tumbling session displayed on the show. Medical experts, however, believe that the process of loading and unloading could have proved very painful, and may ultimately have been to blame. 'He was being worked pretty hard without the added stress of regular surgery,' said one doctor, 'and I'm sure any bloke would keel over eventually if someone kept taking their balls out on a weekly basis'.