"We cannot stand idly by and watch this great institution destroy itself," the US president told the G20 summit yesterday. "General John Patten must not let his lust for glory create mayhem, and on the other side, the threat of the Mark Thompson machine gun arriving in force from the USA means the prospect of hundreds if not thousands of innocent middle to senior managers in the stricken BBC being mown down in front of their secretaries."
In a surprise move, Patten has asked for a "Boots on the ground" solution, with a branch of Boots opening on the ground floor of the New Broadcasting House complex, next to the Costa Coffee franchise, ensuring a ready supply of first aid material, and back up supplies of calorie-counter sandwiches, make up removers and healthy snacks.
But President Putin has resisted an international Call You and Yours to intervene. "Scarcely anyone listens to this tiny British outlet any more," he told a press conference. "The Ken Bruce pop quiz is far too easy, and I hate all the new characters in the Archers. Especially Rob. I now only like to hear Midweek, with the excellent Libby Purves. Have her brought to my private apartment in the Kremlin. Tonight!"