Roly-polies up and down the land are said to be livid today following an article published in the book trade’s flagship newspaper, The Bookseller, which announced 1920s publisher Riggs and Ballinger is to reform and the first title on its list will be the schoolboy stories of Frank Richards featuring Billy Bunter.

But already an online petition has been started demanding the banning of the books all over again because of their ‘overtly fattist and casual racist content.’ However Nigel Farage has come to the defence of the publisher: ‘Look, once again this is another textbook example of political correctness gone mad. So they make fun of fat people suggesting that they are lazy, shiftless and ready to steal the food and pocket money of others at the drop of a hat. But is that really so far from the truth?’

‘I used to read Bunter books as a boy and I loved them. And as regards the racism charge? Well honestly. There’s an Indian Prince who features in some of the yarns whose nickname is ‘Inky’. Now, come on, what’s wrong with that? It’s just a bit of harmless fun.’

Pensioner and Daily Mail reader, Albert Mackerel from Canvey Island agrees: ‘I loved reading Billy Bunter when I was a nipper. All the goings on at that fancy Greyfriars School was great as we had nothing like that round our way. We lived in a slum and hadn’t a pot to piss in.’

‘And didn’t he used to be on the BBC, so what’s supposed to be wrong with him anyway? Billy Bunter, Love Thy Neighbour and The Black and White Minstrel Show. Now that’s I’d call the perfect night’s telly,’ adds a wistful Albert.