We ask you: will you go in the shop and buy a 34-year-old cigarettes in two decades' time?

OUTSIDE the newsagent in the year 2044 lurk two men in their early thirties. They hold up a £40 note and ask you to get them a packet of Silk Cut. Will you? 

Bill McKay, smallholder: “No way. Smoking will stunt their growth.” 

Susan Traherne, accountant: “Absolutely not. The law is the law, and the law has an arbitrary cut-off point of January 1st, 2009. I would light up, blow a lungful in their jowly faces, and tell them to piss off.” 

Martin Bishop, hare courser: “Not me. Instead I would point them to someone who would do so on principle like Liz Truss or Kemi Badenoch, both of whom I expect will be hanging out down the precinct.” 

Jim Bates, lighting technician: “Smoking is illegal for those mid-life reprobates. But I would get them rolling baccy for a good old English spliff, because that tradition must be kept alive.” 

Hannah Tomlinson, hairdresser: “Can’t they just tell the shopkeeper the fags are for their dads?” 

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Hannah Fry, and the other top candidates to be the thinking man's crumpet

RANDY intellectual types are on the lookout for a new muse now Rachel Riley has disgraced herself. These are the top candidates in the line of succession.

Hannah Fry

The clear front-runner. If this were the line to the throne, maths whizz Hannah Fry would be Prince William. She’s already proven her intellectual chops by presenting the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, but she’s also shown she’s game for a laugh by hosting Have I Got News For You. Crucially though she is yet to put a foot wrong by saying something dreadful on social media, meaning nerds can feel safe fancying her.

Victoria Coren Mitchell

A divisive contender. The poker ace and Only Connect presenter will either be taken to the hearts of sexually frustrated cardigan wearers, or rejected on the grounds of her wry presenting style. Her legitimacy is further complicated by her attachment to king of the geeks David Mitchell. Swots may be loath to betray one of their own, even in their imagination.

Lucy Worsley

The high-brow candidate. Some men may say she’s not their type, but then why do they switch over from Lucy Worsley’s Royal Photo Album so quickly when their wives walk into the room? Not only does she make Tudor history accessible to modern audiences, she’s also an accomplished pianist who knows loads about Agatha Christie. What more could you want in a woman?

Professor Alice Roberts

One for the Gen X dads who have traded in their Garbage records to become armchair anthropologists. Professor Alice Roberts is sure to set pulses racing with her knowledge of clinical anatomy and bronze age settlements, but her failure to appear on 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown means she will forever only have niche appeal. Which is something of a national tragedy.

Carol Vorderman

Yes, this would go against the natural order of things. But if David Tennant can become Doctor Who again, why can’t Carol Vorderman reclaim the crown as the nation’s most beloved boffin? She’s still got it in the looks department, and her anti-government tweets are yet to make racist statements that promote Islamophobia. Britain is going backwards socially and economically, so perhaps it’s only right that the country’s choice of intellectual crumpet should follow suit.