Summer is now firmly with us and the nation moves into alfresco overdrive, new legislation is to be introduced that will see hitherto popular lines from comedies and sitcoms – say when friends are engaging in banter with one another in pub beer gardens etc. – become criminal offences.

A spokesman from The Department of Media Sport and Culture said: ‘We had to move on this as complaints have been on the rise about noisy groups of people guffawing and cackling when others just want to enjoy a nice bottle of Chablis at a restaurant in the beautiful weather.’

Consequently from July 1st it will be a crime to say – ‘Don’t tell him, Pike’ or to do the ‘Eurn ne-nurn nur nur-nur! Eurn ne-nurn nur nur-nur’ music David Brent does before launching into his iconic dance from The Office. Both of these will carry an on-the-spot fine of £200.

Impersonations of Del Boy, or using any of his catchphrases whatsoever, will carry the same fine with a suspended prison sentence of six months implemented for a second offence. If anyone says ‘You dirty old man’ like Harold Steptoe it will trigger an automatic custodial sentence and those using the Tony Hancock line: ‘… but a pint! That’s nearly an armful’ will receive a five-year jail term.’

When asked for clarification as reporters were unsure of the exact implications of the new laws the spokesman said: ‘Look at my face. Face… bovvered… am I bovvered!?’