The BBC’s annual charity fundraiser was mired in scandal last night as it faced allegations that millions of small yellow bears were being deliberately blinded to elicit greater sympathy from would-be donators. ‘We’ve heard rumours that ruthless street beggars are purposely maiming defenceless teddies purely to increase the yield in their collection tin,’ said a spokesman for the charity Bear Necessities, who work to take injured bears off the streets and rehouse them in GPs’ waiting rooms.
‘These unscrupulous characters lure innocent bears into their organised street gangs with promises of food, shelter and a possible cameo in the live regional link-ups. The moment the bears let their guard down, they’re attacked with a pair of eyebrow tweezers, detaching their beady eyes from their sockets. And yet still they’re paraded around during baked-bean baths and sponsored head shaves. It’s hard to believe we live in the same world.’
The children’s charity expose – already nicknamed ‘stairgate’ – echoes the outrage that surrounded this year’s Comic Relief, when it was revealed that millions of red-nosed reindeers were being cruelly battery-farmed then slaughtered to produce novelty charity goods.
But whilst the BBC strenuously denied deliberately withholding the simple laser eye surgery that would cure Pudsey Bear of his slight myopia, it was similarly keen to distance itself from any suggestion of wrongdoing, insisting that it would never sanction the cruel exploitation of vulnerable beings to further its entertainment agenda. ‘Except during The Apprentice, Strictly Come Dancing and whenever the hell Lloyd Webber decides he needs a new yacht,’ added an anonymous BBC source.