Martin Amis to be a playable character in Mario Kart 8

NINTENDO’S forthcoming Mario Kart 8 is to include Martin Amis as an unlockable character.

The novelist, who is a cult figure in Japan, will drive a customised dune buggy and his special move will be to knock rivals off course by hurling streams of erudite scatological invective.

Other playable characters are thought to include artist Jack Vettriano, post-war Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps and 90s pop star Gina G all of whom enjoy inexplicable popularity with Japanese audiences.

Amis said: “The runaway success of Super Amis World II: Amis Island, with players really responding to the quest to rescue Baby Zadie Smith from the clutches of a gigantic Will Self, made this the logical next step.

“I acted as adviser on that game – the player turning into a wasp when he headbutts a striped block was my idea – and I’ve contributed a few ideas to this, including the race set inside a giant Jaffa Cake.”

Cultural historian Joanna Kramer said: “The Japanese have a very different take on Western icons. Robert De Niro is primarily known as a whisky salesman over there, and when he attempts to appear in a film audiences get furious and throw missiles at the screen.

“Martin Amis is viewed as a capering spirit of undependable luck and sexual good fortune in the Far East, where he has his own line of ribbed condoms and sake shots.

“Very different from over here, where we consider him a boring, big-headed bastard.”

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Women campaign against 'fun' party preparation

WOMEN have called for an end to advertisements that show party preparation as a fun female bonding activity.

They would prefer to see lone females getting ready in a toilet cubicle, accidentally putting a fist through several pairs of sheer black tights and then drinking a brandy miniature that has been smuggled off a ferry.

Personal shopper Helen Archer said: “Women aren’t just under intense pressure to look great, but to take the day off and get their hair done together.

“During this process I’ve seen best friends display genuine warmth and affection towards one another, and minutes later they’ll calling each other ‘obese PowerPoint wench’.”

Office worker Joanna Kramer said: “My manager forced everyone to come to a spa with her the day before and ‘enjoy’ a ‘pre party pampering package’.

“In order to justify the expense to the company, she made them all do spreadsheets in the sauna.”

Advertising executive Julian Cooke said “Even I would admit the ads are unrealistic. For the last shoot we cast hot young women who were supposed to compare false eyelashes while skipping in their pants and generally being cute.

“But by the third take, half of them were crying, one was giving the others cigarette burns and another had locked themselves in a car with an extra deep tin of Roses and a bottle of limited edition Advocaat.”