Fast food behemoth McDonald’s today confirmed that its mascot of six decades, Ronald McDonald, will be limiting his appearances in the wake of the crazed clown phenomenon.
Releasing a statement, the company claimed the move has been made to remain "thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald's participation in community events" due to the "current climate around clown sightings in communities."
This rather odd development comes as police forces across the UK claim they've received multiple reports of clown sightings by frightened members of the public. Sure, we may laugh at poor Ronald in this instance, but since the craze snowballed in the US and arrived on these shores, it's turned out to be a serious issue.
In the past seven days alone, one man has been stabbed by a clown brandishing a 10-in blade, a pregnant woman shocked into labour when a prankster jumped out at her, a costumed menace with a fake gun arrested by police at Heathrow Airport. Factor in the looming date of 31 October, otherwise known as Halloween, and it's a safe bet that there will be more incidents and arrests in the weeks ahead.
All of which doesn't help when you have plonkers like these (note: not the real Ronald McDonald)...
Stay safe out there, everyone.