The alarm was raised today after BBC documentary maker and explorer Professor Robert Falcon failed to emerge from Oldham after missing his rendezvous with the armoured extraction convoy, the 48 bus, by three hours.

The Greater Manchester tourist authority had warned Prof. Falcon that he was ‘soft int ‘ed’ if he thought he could travel into Oldham safely, particularly after the disappearance of three missionaries in 2015. The only clue in that case was the capture of a bear last year in Newhey wearing a cassock. However, rumours of a previously undiscovered Co-Op, glimpsed by satellites through a gap in the smoke, had prompted the explorer to make one last attempt to penetrate the interior.

The BBC were quick to remind reporters that Professor Falcon has extensive experience of exploring the interior of the North West, he’s even been to Burnley, and was involved in the rescue of the fourteen miners who were feared lost after their bus broke down near Cleveley’s on a day trip to Blackpool, but his family are understandably distraught.

“He only had a cold chip barm on him for the trip, because we know the locals consider hot food the work of evil spirits, so he’ll be peckish by now”.

A rescue mission led by Bear Grylls was being planned, but after he examined the room service menu of the nearest 5 star hotel, he stood down. Ray Mears is too fat.

Robert Mugabe was contacted for a comment, but offered little hope. “Leave it out, son. I’m right in the shit here”.