George Osborne admitted yesterday that his recent threats of a "double dip" recession were fictional and entirely due to the machinations of brain wrangler Derren Brown.
"It all seemed so real," quipped Osborne. "He completely convinced me that the world was about to end and we were all headed into irretrievable ruin. Thank God it was just one of his tricksy illusions."
Brown said, "we were looking for a bit of a deadbeat who was stuck in a rut and George fitted the bill perfectly. Some people may call it cruel, but we just wanted to teach him to appreciate the value of money. And it was bloody funny seeing him squirm."