BBC Gives Up

THE BBC will give up as of midnight tonight, the director general Mark Thompson has confirmed.

Does she call him 'Mr De Vere' when they're at it?

Unveiling the corporation's autumn and winter highlights, Mr Thompson said the return of Patsy and Ricky to Eastenders and the Christmas special edition of To the Manor Born showed a clear commitment to not caring in the slightest any more.

Mr Thompson said: "When viewers hand over £150 a year they don't simply expect more of the same.

"They expect us to dig up more of the same from the 1980s and 90s."

He added: "Next year we're spending more than £100 million on a full-length film version of Ever Decreasing Circles and the much anticipated cartoon adaptation of As Time Goes By with Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer.

"What else have we got, let's see. Oh yes – Michael Palin will go somewhere foreign and be pointed at by people who've just seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the first time.

"David Attenborough will present the 26-part series The Life of Pine Cones and we'll have a big costume drama based on a thick, important book, starring that guy who used to be in All Creatures Great and Small. Not Robert Hardy or Dr Who. The other one."

Mr Thompson said all other programmes will be presented by someone chosen from the BBC's Smart Arse Rotation, including Jonathan Ross, Clive Anderson and Ian Hislop.