By Marcus Leach
Comedian Graham Linehan, who is famous for his parts in Father Ted and the IT Crowd, has come clean over his Twitter hoax concerning Osama Bin Laden.
Rumours on the social networking site suggested that Bin Laden was a big fan of the sitcom IT Crowd, however Linehan revealed it was all an elaborate media hoax.
"I spread a story on Twitter that in some of the videos seized from his compound during the Navy Seals raid, Osama Bin Laden was watching my sitcom The IT Crowd," Linehan told the BBC website.
He goes on to joke that he did it to see how fast he could spread a rumour on Twitter, which wasn't actually his main aim, yet it did prove the power of Twitter in spreading rumours and news.
"I did it because I thought it would be funny, but it did circulate and mutate really quickly so maybe there's a good lesson for us here. I mean really, it's scary what Twitter can do. You can't get more offline than my mother, and even she said to my brother, the day after the story "broke", "Did you hear about your brother and Osama?" he continued.
Twitter has been in the news elsewhere lately, with a host of users using the site to get around the super injunction taken out to stop Imogen Thomas revealing the name of the Premiership footballer she had been having an affair with.
Linehan's initial tweets were meant to be taken as a joke, however he was swamped with curious replies which resulted in him playing along with the ruse.
By re-tweeting quotes from news stories on the internet Linehan was able to make it look as if this story was coming from several sources, where in truth it was all him.