In a truly groundbreaking announcement today, broadcaster ITV has said that the next episode of Saturday Night Takeaway is to be hosted by holograms of former national treasures Morcambe and Wise.

Speaking to reporters Head of Light Entertainment, Michael Purves said: ‘Following Ant’s arrest and all the subsequent fallout, Dec has made it known that he does not feel comfortable taking to the stage without his lifelong showbiz partner by his side and we have respected his wishes.’

‘Particularly when you consider the boys have only ever been able to deliver one half of any gag each, then focus groups decided that Dec on his own would not have worked. But technology now exists whereby holograms of virtually anyone living or dead can be created and projected onto a stage, for proof you need look no further than the recent Elvis shows. So we believe the nation will now relish seeing see such brilliant performers appearing in what is undoubtedly the nation’s most popular light entertainment show.’

But the news has not played well with other double acts still with us, some of whom see themselves as having been passed over in favour of a technological solution. Wee Jimmy Krankie said: ‘We could’ve easily stepped in and been brilliant. This is definitely not Fandaibi-double-dozi and is really shortsighted of ITV.’

Gareth Hale, one half of Hale and Pace was quite philosophical at having been passed over: ‘Sure we could’ve done it, but no one really likes us now and we’re not surprised at ITV’s decision in all honesty.’

Meanwhile Noel Edmonds and his pink inflatable chum, Mr Blobby, were unavailable for comment