Two novelists hoping to step into John le Carré's boots, have today shredded the pages upon pages of text they laboriously typed, read again to check for typos, then re-wrote again and again to perfect the prose. They now spend their days in the Fox and Hounds, lamenting how each of them had been working on plots that involved the potential of the British government being brought down by foreign countries, only to discover the British government would bring itself down from within.
One of the authors, Joe Sykes, drained the last of his pint of Old and Filthy before telling our reporter with a sigh, 'I was sure I had a winner. Putin would be setting up a honey trap that Johnson would find irresistible. I spent ages doing the research, chatting to high class prostitutes, visited goodness knows how many sex shops to check out the types of bondage gear they flog.
'I searched to see whether a death certificate had actually been issued for George Smiley and nearly got nicked for hanging round the school gates in my quest for a description of the girl at the centre of the honey trap.
'I realised this week how fruitless it all was. There's no way Putin would waste his time trying to destroy the British Prime Minister's career, when the PM is such an idiot he'd do it himself before Putin had found the ideal agent to trap Johnson.'
'Can you lend me a fiver for another pint until my benefits hit the account next week?" he went on to ask our reporter.