In a boost to the UK's arts and entertainment industry, the Nepalese based performance group have decided to join the Actors' trade union, Equity. The Sherpas feel that for too long they have been hauling overweight celebrities and narcissistic charity climbers up Everest, with no thanks and no percentage of the profits.
The first known Sherpa-Actor was Tenzing Norgay. In 1953 Norgay carried Edmund Hillary in a "fireman's lift" up and down Everest; then facing the world's media gave a riveting performance as "someone of minor importance". Since then generations of Sherpas have been lifting tourists to the summit of Mount Everest; then creating the illusion that the tourist had done it themselves.
Dipendra Poudel from the mountain section of Nepal's Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Aviation explained: "To begin with, we were happy to help mountaineers mock-up their climb. But is it right to exclude Sherpas from the subsequent TV interviews, webcasts and autobiographies? Three thousand people have faked scaling Everest, it's time they started paying Equity minimum to the supporting cast".
The Sherpas hope that bringing in West End Theatre snack prices, will help put an end to litter and poor sanitation around the mountain. Among recent controversies -
• Italian climbers Ueli Steck and Simone Moro were assaulted by their Nepalese mountain guides, when they failed to know their lines for their dress rehearsal.
• The live streaming of Comic Relief's Daniel Hughes, did not include the obligatory Sherpa commentary on the blue-ray edition
• Claims that a Saudi woman had scaled Everest, were later found out to be a Sherpa practising his Widow Twanky for the panto season.
Brian Blessed had been approached by the Nepalese authorities to help raise awareness of these issues, but Mr. Blessed was only able to offer the same two word response to any question -"Gordon's Alive!"