A press briefing in Cheshire, called by The British Astronomical Association, had to be abandoned because it descended into total farce, as both the keynote speaker and assembled press fell into fits of uncontrollable smutty giggling.

The briefing had been called following news that the radio telescope at Jodrell Bank is being tipped for UNESCO World Heritage status, and all seemed perfectly normal when astronomer and TV celebrity, Professor Brian Cox, took to the podium.

However at his first mention of Jodrell Bank Cox’s voice cracked and his delivery faltered noticeably, causing him to reach for a glass of water. He then tried to carry on with his address but every time he said Jodrell Bank he began to giggle uncontrollably. This in turn seemed to spread to his audience and before long everyone in the room was rolling about crying with laughter.

Matters were hastily drawn to a close by Queen guitarist, Brian May, who was clearly irate and screamed at Cox and the press: ‘For Christ sake grow up you bunch of overgrown schoolboys!’

Cheshire Ambulance Service later confirmed that several units had to be dispatched to Jodrell Bank to deal with three cases of life threatening hyperventilation.