Children’s authors, presenters and actors are seeking hiding places for the rest of 2017, the Rochdale Herald has learned.

This year has seen, in very quick succession, the loss of many stars of children’s entertainment – John Noakes, Peter Sallis, Brian Cant, Michael Bond and Carol Lee Scott have all passed away within the space of a month.  Remaining childhood icons are being urged to seek a place of safety.

“It’s just carnage,” Peter Purvis told the Herald. “Last year it was musicians – David Bowie, Prince, George Michael – no musician was safe.  Now this year it’s icons of childhood. We need help!”

An offer of protection

Due to recent events there is no government funding available for a protection initiative but word has reached us that J. K. Rowling has commissioned a special fortress to protect against the carnage.  She is reported to have invited as many childhood icons as are interested to take refuge in it.

“Something had to be done,” she said in an interview, “and if the government won’t do anything, then someone else has to take the initiative.  I am inviting all icons of children’s entertainment to take refuge in my fortress for the remainder of 2017. No true childhood hero will be turned away in their hour of need.”

The list of names to have taken her up on her offer is extensive – everyone from Andi Peters to Valerie Singleton has flocked to the fort in the hopes of seeing out 2017.  I did fell, however, that I should comment on one name on the list, that of Rolf Harris.

“It’s simple,” Ms Rowling explained. “If he’s in here with us, he can’t do any damage on the outside.”

Of course, if anyone should die within her walls, Ms Rowling will have the makings of a bestselling murder mystery.  We can only hope that there is no conflict of interest on her part.