People the world over are reeling at the news that everyone’s favourite judgemental busybody Santa has died. Santa’s body was discovered in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a barn in the North Pole some hours after Mrs Claus reported her husband missing.

Police issued a statement indicating that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the temple, believed to be self-inflicted. The body was found beside a note which read: “I can’t do this any more. I’ve got ten thousand cubic fuck-tons of coal lumps to deliver to racist rednecks all over America, and another piece the size of an elephant to try and jam down the chimney for some rapey orange freakshow in the White House. I’m 1745 years old, legally blind and my back’s knackered, but the DWP have told me I’m still fit for work. I can’t see any other way out. Please tell the kiddies I’m sorry, just the Christian ones though.”

Santa’s suicide has been the latest in a string of deaths of beloved icons that have left the world reeling. Many adults have broke down in tears upon hearing the news, although most children remain unaffected, owing to the fact that they always get everything they want for Christmas, no matter what kind of loathsome little asshats they’ve been all year.

All’s not lost, however. Several high profile celebs have put themselves forward as a potential replacement Santa, but the clear favourite so far is Jackalope-looking Aryan: Sir Richard Branson. The inspiring tax dodger has vowed to streamline the service by replacing all cumbersome toys with printable Virgin discount vouchers, which entitles the bearer to 15% off any full priced Virgin train ticket in January. (Terms and conditions apply, no exchange for cash.)