The world of showbiz was plunged into mourning following the tragic deaths of a number of celebrities working to relieve famine in Africa. Veteran Glaswegian comic and actor Billy Connolly, supermodel Kate Moss and self-styled singer Ronan Keating are believed to have been eaten by starving villagers in Eritrea whilst filming a BBC documentary highlighting how money raised by Comic Relief was being used to help the local community. “One minute they were demonstrating to local women how to turn on a tap to get clean drinking water, the next a horde of skeletal looking natives swarmed all over them and dragged them off,” explained an obviously distraught BBC producer who had escaped the holocaust. “It was horrible, first of all they ate Kate Moss raw, then they proceeded to boil Billy Connolly alive in a big pot (seasoned with local herbs, of course), whilst Ronan was roasted on a spit!”

The film crew had believed that the celebrities were at no risk from the clearly hungry villagers. “We had the most obviously ravenous and emaciated penned up at gunpoint by government soldiers, well out of sight of the cameras,” says the producer. “We wouldn’t have wanted viewers at home to have seen them, it would have been too upsetting – it would have made it look as if all that money they had given hadn’t done any good and that people were still starving to death!” Overpowering their guards – one had his left leg chewed off – the villagers made straight for the most nutritious source of food in sight – the celebrities. Despite attempts by the remaining soldiers to rescue them, only one of Kate Moss’s thigh bones was recovered – snatched from a boy who was using it as a tooth-pick. Billy Connolly’s beard was reportedly last seen being used as a merkin by a village elder who had lost all of her hair as a result of poor diet. Whilst grateful for the sustenance they provided, some of the villagers later complained of the quality of the celebrities, particularly Kate Moss, who was felt to be too stringy. “She was far too thin and lacked any real meat – barely an apéritif. Billy Connolly was more substantive, but rather tough and leathery. Ronan Keating, on the other hand, was excellent – his flavour and texture perfect, the result, no doubt, of his rich celebrity diet,” commented village Chief Benjamin Jalobi. “In general, we would prefer it if you sent us your fatter celebrities- Dom Deluise or Ricki Lake, perhaps?”

Despite sending its condolences to the families of the devoured celebrities, international relief organisation Oxfam is actively championing the idea of the famous going to Africa to literally feed the starving. “It could be the perfect solution – the likes of Sally Struthers or Jo Brand could provide entire districts with nutrition for up to a year at a time! Even after we’ve paid their tickets out there and met their outrageous hospitality demands, it would still be cheaper than sending thousands of tons of grain every year,” Roger Spiggot, a senior relief worker for the organisation, believes. “Quite frankly, it is about the only way that any of these celebrities who keep going out to Africa will be of any practical use. As it is, all they do is get in the way as they pose for photo opportunities and patronise the natives. Surely giving your life so some starving children can eat is the best publicity any celebrity could get? Think of the number of CDs, books, tickets and merchandising it would sell!” However, plans to air drop celebrities into remote villages to relieve famine have been suspended following the damage caused by Pop Idol failure and star of TV reality show I’m a Fat Bastard – Get Me Some Gateau, Rick Waller, when he was thrown out of the back of a C-130 transport plane ten thousand feet above the Congo. “We were very lucky he missed the target village – the casualties would have been horrendous. As it is the World Wide Fund for Nature is threatening legal action against us for the population of rare Mountain Gorillas he wiped out when he hit a nearby forest,” says Spiggot. “Apparently the impact area looked like Tunguska after the meteor hit. Obviously, we’ve shelved plans to drop Marlon Brando over Malawi – apparently we would have been looking at the type of impact which wiped out the dinosaurs.”

Some relief agencies have suggested that rather than using expensive celebrities, ordinary fat people could instead be sent out to feed the starving millions of Africa. “What better way to solve Britain’s growing obesity problem than sending our fat kids out there to feed the hungry – and think of the educational value for their surviving schoolmates,” a spokesperson for Christian Aid has suggested. Rejecting this idea, Chief Jalobi remains adamant that only celebrities are good enough for his people. “We don’t want your scrag-ends, fed on fatty burgers and chips! Why should we have their second-hand cholesterol clogging up our arteries? We want nice plump, well-fed celebrities! And none of your skinny arsed second stringers like Steve Buscemi or Callista Flockheart! We want the real thing! How about that sanctimonious bastard Bob Geldof? Or Bono, perhaps? After all, they’re always telling everyone else how they must help us poor stupid Africans,” he says, adding that already his people poring over old issues of OK magazine and Cosmopolitan, salivating over Angelina Jolie’s breasts, Jennifer Aniston’s thighs and Mark Wahlberg’s musculature, as they speculate which celebrity will be coming next to the village for dinner. “Do you realise that just one of Jennifer Lopez’s buttocks could feed an entire family here for a week?”

Not all celebrities are enamoured with the idea of being eaten, despite the probable publicity benefits. “It does seem a bit extreme,” says former Police front man Sting. “Don’t get me wrong – I’d really like to help the starving children, just not that much. Couldn’t I just give an arm or something?” He also believes that the initiative could be short-lived, due to the finite supply of A-list celebrities. “There just aren’t enough of us to go around,” he points out. “Besides, just think of the terrible cultural loss to the world if we’re allowed to become extinct this way!” Others disagree . “With programmes like Pop Idol, Fame Academy, Big Brother and Survivor churning out new ‘celebrities’ on a weekly basis, I feel confident that enough performers of sufficiently meagre talents are being produced to maintain the celebrity pool,” opines Oxfam’s Spiggot, who believes that only health concerns might now halt the new initiative. “We are worried that some Africans might OD after eating, say, Robert Downey Junior, not to mention the risk of sexually transmitted diseases from eating just about any member of Motley Crue. Clearly, we’ll have to instigate a careful celebrity screening programme – there’s no point in saving these poor bastards from starvation just to poison them!”