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Newsreaders hospitalised after Duncan Smith promise
6 Oct 2003 by Malcolm Drury
Several radio and television newsreaders across the country were briefly hospitalised today following the promise by the alleged leader of the Conservative party, Iain "Duncan" Smith, that he will lead the Conservatives to victory at the next general election. "We are going to win the next election, I promise you," he said.
The promise, made to a group of Blackpool sixth-formers, came on the same day that separate Independent NOP polls revealed that almost half of all voters, including almost three in ten of those who say they would vote Tory, cannot name the Tory Party leader and that the Liberal Democrats are now the real party of opposition.
The first poll found that only 53% of people asked could name Mr Duncan Smith as leader of the Conservatives. 2% thought it was still William Hague, 15% were convinced that Margaret Thatcher was still the leader, and 8% named David Beckham. A surprising 10% claimed never to have heard of the Conservative Party.
When trying to report Mr Duncan Smith's promise, many newsreaders on the BBC, ITV and Sky were unable to keep a straight face, with some of them collapsing in fits of hysteria, and even the mildest cases were reduced to incoherence, with tears streaming from the eyes. Newscasts were interrupted as medical staff attempted to provide first aid, and many of the more serious cases were rushed to hospital to receive emergency treatment for hyperventilation and excessive giggling.
Douglas Ramsbottom, a highly-placed anonymous official inside BBC News, told DeadBrain in confidence that he had never seen anything like it. "Our newsreaders are consummate professionals and they've managed in the past to report some hilarious news, such as just about anything to do with President Bush, and keep a straight face, but this was just too much for them," he said. "Fortunately they are all making a swift recovery, and should be back to normal by tomorrow, but in future we will be very careful about reporting what Mr. Duncan Smith says."
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