The Russian government has denied any involvement in the poisoning of Aleksandr ‘The Meerkat’ Orlov, after the TV star was found unconscious outside his South London home.

Police and paramedics were called to the address in the early hours of Friday morning, after a member of the public spotted Orlov lying in his driveway. It is understood that his sidekick, Sergei, was also treated by paramedics. Both remain in a critical condition in hospital.

Speculation has been rife about the motives behind the poisoning, with some people suggesting that it could linked to Sergei’s previous involvement in the Soviet space programme. However, a source close to the investigation has said that they were likely targeted simply because “they’re annoying as fuck”.

Detective Superintendent Helen Palmer, from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, told reporters that the poisoning appeared to be an isolated incident and sought to reassure the public that the risk to others remained low.

“Our enquiries so far have established that no other persons, or animals, anthropomorphic or otherwise, were affected by the toxin,” she said.

“Whilst we cannot rule out a political motive at this stage, it seems more probable that the smoking-jacket-wearing little shit was targeted by someone angry that he had the word ‘simples’ added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

“In that regard, Susie Sent has already been able to supply us with a credible alibi.”

CCTV enquiries have established that an unidentified male was spotted leaving the area about half an hour before the two meerkats were found. He is described as a white male in his early 40’s, very overweight, with a centre-parting in his hair and a long waxed moustache. He may have been wearing a tuxedo and at least one witness has reported hearing opera singing at around the same time. Police have urged the public to come forward with the names of possible suspects.

Meantime, Nationwide Bank have declined to comment on reports that musical duo Flo & Joan have stopped accepting drinks from strangers following the incident.