Sensational news to begin our weekly look at the televisual Goliath that is BBC2's flagship quiz show Eggheads. Reports have reached the Courant that "Bumbling" Barry Simmons, the newest and demonstrably least talented Egghead, may soon be booted off the show.
"Bumbling" Barry, 59, whose own wife refers to him as a 'dustbin', has raised hackles on the cult show with his apparent imbecility ever since mysteriously winning his place on the team through the closely-fought "Are You An Egghead" contest.
Show host Dermot Murnaghan was unavailable for comment yesterday, adding fuel to the rumour that his recent non-appearances are related to an inability to stop laughing whenever "Bumbling" Barry loses a round to a supposedly hopeless contestant.
"It really is rather unfortunate" said Eggheads stalwart Daphne Fowler, 106, from her Devonshire cottage. "I mean, we had the contest to strengthen the team, because CJ, bless him, isn't the sharpest tool; Judith only knows things that rich people know, and Chris, well, it's just trains, isn't it? We hoped Barry would fill in a gap, but unfortunately the only vacancy is between his ears".
Never one to mince words, fellow team member Chris Hughes was scathing as he attacked the appointment from his trackside home in Crewe. "The bloke's thick as pig-shit" thundered the former railwayman. "He gets up there in the question room, babbles on in his own language, then comes out with somm'at daft".
There was no respite for "Bumbling" Barry even from fellow struggler CJ de Mooi. "I - just - don't - understand - it" said CJ, dramatically rolling his eyes in exasperation. "I can't be-lieve this rubbish he spouts about how he "knows the hard ones but gets the easy ones wrong"! He's thick, and that's all there is to it."
BBC sources have refused to either confirm or deny the sacking of "Bumbling" Barry. However, hopes are high that beaten 'Are You An Egghead' finalist Shaun Wallace will agree to take Simmons' place on the show. "After all" a corporation insider told us, "the final can't have been a fair contest, can it, otherwise he wouldn't have lost to "Bumbling" Barry in the first place".