2016 had started so well for the printers of novelty t-shirts – but a recent glut of celebrity deaths has dented their summer profits, according to an industry source.

Rhys Edwards, speaking on behalf of “RIP: Wear the T” told BFNN “To be honest it’s been tragic – we normally tick along with one or two big deaths each year – plus a few smaller ones, you know. Tiddlers, we call them. So we had your Paul Daniels and your Ronnie Corbett – Alan Rickman was a big one. When Bowie died we thought all of our Christmases had come at once.”

“Then all of a sudden Prince pops his clogs and we decide we’ve got to expand – they’re dropping like flies!”

And you would think it would have been a smart move – dying has become very popular among the A-list crowd in 2016.

But after moving to a a new state of the art t-shirt printing facility in Basingstoke the deaths have dried up – and they’re starting to feel the pinch.

“Of course we had Muhammad Ali but we’d already plastered his best quotes on posters when he was alive. And with him no-one was that surprised – that’s what’s best for sales, when it’s sudden.
So, what next for Rhys and co?

“We live in hope. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a Chris Evans or one of the girls from Friends, someone like that. Maybe even one of the royal family – that’d be nice. We can all dream, can’t we?”

Asked if he thought he was like a parasite cashing-in on people’s emotions, Mr Edwards defended his company:

“Look, if someone wants to wear a picture of Sir Terry Wogan with “Legend” printed underneath, who am I to stop them?It’s what Sir Tel would have wanted. And at £24.99, we think it’s excellent value.”

– Gareth Jeremy