The literary world was rocked to its very foundations today when a new research paper claimed avuncular Hogwarts Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore and Middle Earth’s uber-wizard Gandalf are in fact one and the same person, and therefore wouldn’t just one of them been perfectly adequate to symbolise the ultimate force for good against evil in both series of the blockbusting sagas.

A team of academics from Oxford’s Bodleian Library published the study following an exhaustive three-year project that examined all known texts of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Professor Rachel Saunders, who led the project told journalists: ‘Dumbledore and Gandalf are the same person. Of that there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever, the facts are there. Both have long hair and big bushy beards. Both dress in robes, and quite crucially in the team’s view, both wear funny hats. I mean come on…? Have you ever seen them together in the same room? Well, there you are then!’

JRR Tolkien was unavailable for comment but Harry Potter author, JK Rowling, has hit back blasting the claim as ‘pure unadulterated rubbish’. Interviewed in The Bookseller she said: ‘This is a preposterous suggestion. Dumbledore is the Headmaster of a fictional witchcraft and wizarding school whereas everyone knows Gandalf is the lead singer of The Boomtown Rats.’