Excavations at caves in Lascaux uncover the oldest as yet discovered Andrew Neil joke believed to date back almost 20,000 years.

An excited team of archaeologists have announced today that a new chamber has recently been discovered at the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site at Lascaux in the Dordogne region of Southwestern France; they have unearthed another three frescos containing over twenty pictorial representations of animals, believed mainly to tell the stories of hunting successes, but more importantly including what is believed to be the oldest known Andrew Neil joke discovered to date.

Estimated to be dating from the Upper Paleolithic era, the joke, ‘How can you tell when a woolly mammoth has been in the fridge? Footprints in the butter!’, is in remarkably good condition given its poor quality. Fashioned from a variety of mineral pigments (including iron oxide which has been used to fashion Neal’s trademark hair), the joke contains a prehistoric Smeg fridge, butter dish and the unmistakable form of Neal presenting This Week and reading from his trademark crib-sheet.

While the precise date of the joke is as yet unknown, carbon dating is due to take place in the next week; in the meantime, excitement and speculation are rife concerning the theory that the joke may be even older than predicted due to it seemingly having been ripped off wholesale from a copy of the Paleolithic Herald, dated several eras earlier and found in an adjacent cave where it appears in almost identical form.

A spokesman for the Paleolithic Herald told us; “Did the humourless, irascible old ******* rip it off of us? He MASTODON!!!?! Gedditt??!!?! Mastodon!!!?!”

“Oh dear” he continued.