Television

Manford is new head of GCHQ

Manc funnyman in widely-predicted career switch

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Comedian Jason Manford has been sworn in as the new head of UK intelligence service GCHQ.

Manford, 9, was announced as the successful candidate at the conclusion of a gruelling selection procedure involving several interviews as well as mental and physical aptitude tests. He will be installed on Monday, replacing Dean Gaffney in the role.

The entertainer-turned-spook was quick to set out his priorities for his time in office. “Clearly,” he told a packed press conference at the organisation’s Cheltenham headquarters, “the world is a more dangerous place than at any time since the Second World War. We have the twin threats of cyber-insecurity and international terrorism to contend with, as well as the fact that I’d only just finished replacing all me video collection with DVDs and now there’s something called Blu-rays. Did one of them not kill Steve Irwin? You don’t want a load of them on your shelves in your front room, do you?”

When asked about the increasing threat posed by North Korea, Manford was quick to assert the importance of his new employer in ensuring the maintenance of global stability. “The UK’s listening services are self-evidently a key contributor to the ability of the West to monitor the situation in North Korea, as well as the activities of other rogue states,” he began. “Obviously our decades of experience in performing such a role, and in supporting the intelligence efforts of our friends in the Five Eyes alliance, stand as material proof of the continued relevance of GCHQ in the context of the modern international security environment. Speaking of North Korea, you know that Kim Jong-Un, yeah? Fat bloke, funny ‘aircut. How many pairs of binoculars has that lad got, eh? Every time you see him he’s looking through a pair of binoculars. Does a fit bird live across the road from him or something? Jesus.”