Ben Elton has been hired as the new stunt double for The Bishop of Durham, the new Archbishop of Canterbury.
Comedian, actor and author Mr Elton was chosen not only for his uncanny resemblance to the Rt Rev Justin Welby, an Eton-educated former oil industry executive, but also for his right wing views after renouncing his left wing ideologies of the past.
In common with the new Archbishop Mr Elton has been quoted as being “unable to get away from a sense of God calling," and with a mother called Mary, “the jigsaw pieces started to fit together.” Since the announcement the former alternative comedian has been swotting up on the truths of the Old Testament and the life story of Red Adair to get into the mind of the new Archbishop. In an interview with Church Times he said, "I can't wait to get my teeth into the gays and all those women bishops."
Asked what qualities he believed the new Bishop’s stunt double needed, outgoing Archbishop, Dr Rowan Williams quoted the theologian Augustus Trench, who said: "Co-ordination: At times you have to use a fast get away car with a Bible in one hand and a crook in the other. Physical and mental strength: You may have to take up a new martial art to fend off your detractors while taking issues of violence and conflict into account.'
Mr Elton, who is currently in training with survivalist Bear Grylls, was unavailable for comment but is said to be looking forward to standing in front of an audience again whenever he gets the call, even if it is made up of 77 million Anglicans.