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BBC to sue Howard over alleged Dr Who rip-off
11 Nov 2003 by Malcolm Drury
DeadBrain has learned that the BBC is considering its options regarding what it claims is a copyright infringement by the newly not-elected leader of the alleged Conservative Party, Michael Howard.
In addition to naming his new shadow cabinet, Mr Howard has announced that former "leaders" of the party John Major, William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith are to be members of a new advisory "council of elders". They will also be allowed to speak "from time to time" from the party's front bench.
Douglas Ramsbottom, a spokesman for BBC television, told our reporter that this concept was clearly blatantly copied from a number of former Dr Who series, including The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors, The Seven Doctors, and Only One Doctor But With A Really Nice Being From Sirius IV, of which the latter, he said, had never actually been televised.
"It's pretty clear where Howard got his idea from," said Mr Ramsbottom. "This is plagiarism and copyright infringement at its worst. The concept is clearly the intellectual property of the BBC. Mr Howard didn't even have the decency to ask us for permission to use it."
Asked to explain, Mr Ramsbottom said that the central theme of each of the various multiple doctor series had been bringing together a number of different incarnations of the good gentleman from Gallifrey in order to combine their individual strengths into one to face a particularly difficult challenge.
"And we all know, Mr Howard faces an enormously difficult challenge - getting the Tories elected," he said, "so it seems pretty obvious that what he's trying to do is combine the 'strengths' of the former leaders along with his own, just like Dr Who. What a rip-off!"
Mr Ramsbottom said that the BBC had engaged the services of Basil Thickers-Theeves QC, who would be looking into the legal ramifications of the situation. "But it seems quite likely at this point that we will be suing," he added.
Contacted at his home by our reporter for a comment, Mr Howard stuck his right arm out rigidly in front of him and began shouting repetitively in a monotone while appearing to glide around without moving his feet "The BBC will be exterminated! Exterminate! Exterminate!" before falling over and being unable to get up again. At that point our reporter left, leaving Mr Howard spinning around in circles on the floor, considered by some a normal state for a Tory leader.
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