Countdown In Crisis: Vorderman 90% Less Attractive, Says Channel 4

HUMAN calculator Carol Vorderman was asked to take a pay cut in direct proportion to her loss of attractiveness, it was claimed last night.

Sources at Channel Four say the walking abacus, now in her early 70s, no longer commands the same loyalty amongst Countdown's vast army of sexual under-achievers.

One senior executive said: "In the mid-80s and 90s a typical cross-section of the audience would have been students with one hand on a Pot Noodle and the other buried firmly in their underpants.

"Those students have grown up and now achieve intense sexual gratification from watching a couple of bespectacled freaks generate a series of tedious five letter words.

"Carol's every bit as good at arithmetic as the day we built her, but she's basically held together with gaffer tape and bits of old chewing gum."

Friends of Vorderman said she will now be forced to encourage home owners to borrow money in the depths of a recession, while 'promoting the crap' out of her 28 day piss-drink detox.

Meanwhile Channel Four insiders revealed the star was told to calculate her pay cut using six random numbers, before being shown an anagram of 'First Plus'.

A Channel Four spokesman said last night: "Carol Vorderman made the fatal error of thinking she was bigger than Countdown.
 
"Let this be a warning to EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU: No-one is bigger than Countdown."

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Lawnmower Assassin Was Communist Loner, Says FBI

A MAN arrested by US police for the assassination of a lawnmower was a communist sympathiser who acted alone, the FBI said last night. 

Keith Walendowski killed the Black & Decker Lawn Hog with two shots fired from a 6.5mm Mannlicher-Carcano rifle from the upstairs bedroom window of his Milwaukee home, agents said.

They claim he developed a hatred of American mowers after defecting to the Soviet Union, which he expected to be a lawnmower-based utopia.

Special agent Carl Booker said: "He was shocked to discover how backward Russian grass-cutting was. Most of their mowers were still side discharge with no rear bag or mulching facility.

"When he came back he brought his Russian mower along. He was always bragging about it, but he knew his grass was a mess. Last week he got drunk and took a swing at a rotovator."

Booker said Walendowski's first shot went straight through the Lawn Hog before entering a Bosch electric chainsaw, while the second and fatal shot entered the mower from the rear.

However, eye witnesses claimed there were six shots from two directions, while experts say injuries to the chainsaw prove at least one other gunman was involved.

Ballistics expert Wayne Hayes said: "Are we expected to believe one bullet could pass through the mower, stop in mid-air, turn 90 degrees, and then continue through the chainsaw and emerge on the grass without so much as a scratch?

"Also, the fatal shot sends the Lawn Hog back and to the left, exactly what you would expect if the shot came from the front-right.

"If the fatal shot came from the front then you have to conclude there was second rifleman, and if there was a second rifleman there had to be a conspiracy, one which we believe involves Joe Pesci and Tommy Lee Jones."

Hayes added: "Back and to the left. Back and to the left. Back and to the left."