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Critics' Choice

By our TV Correspondent Cath Aude-Raye

Over the last few weeks as part of its CONTRIK-69 emergency broadcasting schedule, the DBC's consumer affairs programme ROGUE VIRUS has been concentrating on the placing the worst possible construction on all CONTRIK-69 related news stories, finding downbeat angles wherever possible and despair wherever hope glimmers. For many - politicians and ordinary citizens alike - it has become a must-watch feature in their daily diet of depressing misinformation. In a week which has witnessed the loss of much-loved former presenter and origami master Bryn Folds-Paper, we pay tribute to the programme's outstanding contribution to lowering the nation's morale and our general mental welfare, by concentrating on its flagship interlude - "your worst fears endorsed"

Watching last evenings episode of ROGUE VIRUS, it is hard not to conclude that the powers that be would rather like the current crisis to continue indefinitely. Just as the good news started to arrive and some began to speak of signs of a "beginning to the end of the beginning of the end of the beginning", ROGUE VIRUS's "your worst fears endorsed" feature managed to put everything back into "the worst is yet to come" mode by the simple expedient of finding as many depressing fears to air as possible and giving them the imprimatur of sound and settled scientific support. For example:

VIEWER A [SKYPE video call] I am told that many doctors and nurses are sharing the same bed at night and are not wearing proper protection. Can this be true?

NICK KNOWALL [for it is he!] Experts say this is certainly the case and that there will be serious consequences in 9 months time when the down-stream impact of this terrible business becomes clear. The government will have serious questions to answer as to why there was a shortage of single beds and bed-length 2 metre-wide bolster pillows.

VIEWER B [by telephone] Is it true that the government is disguising the figures and that more than 4 million people are dying in Dorset alone each day?

NICK KNOWALL Absolutely true. My neighbour confirmed it yesterday. She knew someone who was related to someone who actually died - though to be fair - in a road traffic accident. Though it was CONTRIK-69 related - the driver of the car that hit him was out buying non-essentials. [If the driver had stuck to buying designated "essentials" - like alcohol - he'd have been pissed at home and not driving a vehicle.

DBC 1's Nick Knowall demonstrates the dangers of an il-fitting face mask.

VIEWER C/D/E [ZOOM video] The three of us live together in a close "modern" relationship [details supplied but not broadcast] and are worried that, if confined to our small one-bedroom flat for much longer, we will become mass murderers. Might this happen?

NICK KNOWALL Yes, I am pleased to be able to confirm that that's more than likely. According to RDC statistics, most people are murdered by people they know. You should protect yourselves from each other either by striking the first blow or by buying a protective face-mask.

VIEWER F [SKYPE video] Is it true that the rate of infection is falling and that I might soon have to go back to work?

NICK KNOWALL Absolutely not. If you add in whole populations not previously included in official figures and estimate for the number of people now dying without anyone noticing, then the death rate is rising algebraically in the countryside and geometrically in the cities. More people are now dying than its ever been our hugely enjoyable responsibility to report before and - if I might add - you should be very afraid for yourself, your family and your community as well as those you love. But the one thing you don't have to fear is ever having to earn a living again. That bit of your life is over - for good - forever. Forget it.

VIEWER G [email] Is it true that we are all going to die?

NICK KNOWALL Without question. Both the Bible and the Laws of Nature tell us this is an indisputable fact. CONTRIK-69 just makes that worse and so much harder to bear.

VIEWER H [telephone, line indistinct] As an expert virologist, epidemiologist and disease modeller, I want to reassure your viewers that this is all a big fuss over nothing, that death and infection rates are falling steadily and that it will soon be safe to return to normality. Though it's not in your interest to admit it because it's not the kind of sensational headline you want, this is without question true. Just come clean and tell the nation the truth.

NICK KNOWALL [interpreting] I am not sure I got all of the details of your question there - it's a particularly bad line - but I think the gist of it was that we are heading for an inevitable catastrophe and that we are all going to die a slow, agonising and horrible death. So yes, I would have to say that expert opinion agrees with you - as do I. So again, just be afraid; be very afraid.

ROUGUE VIRUS is broadcast nightly across all platforms and is available on Catch Up - for 30 days after first broadcast - if you are still alive to watch it.

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