The BBC has launched a series of films on TV and social media encouraging UK residents to stay in their homes, making use of appropriately themed footage from Miranda, The Thick of it, The Mighty Boosh and I’m Alan Partridge.
The clips feature Miranda Hart hailing the joys of living alone; Peter Capaldi’s spin doctor Malcolm Tucker belting: "Right people listen up: this is a fucking lockdown!" at exasperated colleagues; an eerie folk-tinged tune from The Mighty Boosh entitled Isolation; and a scene in which Partridge outlines the strict schedule for a planned James Bond marathon.
The first three films end with the on-screen message: "Seriously, stay at home. Please help stop the spread." The Partridge one, meanwhile, has the text: "Set a routine to get through staying in."
The scenes from I'm Alan Partridge and Marinda will be shown in TV programme junctions, while the other two will be used online only.
The broadcaster has not made use of the sketch perhaps most widely associated by social media users with the current circumstances: "Remain indoors" from That Mitchell and Webb Look, featuring a TV quiz show taking place some time after an apocalyptic event referred to only as "The Event".
Kerris Bright, chief customer officer at the BBC, said: "We’ve found four classic clips in the BBC’s extensive archive which we hope will raise a smile during these tough times. But the message behind this series of information films is very serious.
"We want to do everything we can at the BBC to help spread the message that we must all stay at home to help slow the spread of this virus and to develop a routine to make our days that little bit more bearable."
Director-general Tony Hall added: "Acting on health advice will save lives. Using our stars is a good way of getting the message out far and wide. Even if it makes just a small difference, it will be worth it."