A spokesperson for Marks and Spencer has confirmed that the UK-wide retail chain has been forced to reintroduce in-store music with immediate effect – the announcement comes after it emerged that a number of branches have been using loud background music to cover up the noise of elderly customers farting by accident. With the average age of customers in some areas being 75 and over, a number of people took to social media this morning to complain about their local M&S shop floor being a ‘cacophony of flatulence.’

Jenny Peristalsis is a Greek exchange student who is currently studying in Southend On Sea, and she contacted Southend News Network to say that the noise in the High Street branch was unbearable. She said: ‘When I have been in here before, there has always been lively and enjoyable music all over the place, and I have never been aware of anyone around me passing excessive amounts of gas. When I walked into the Food Hall this morning, there were a lot of elderly shoppers in there trying to beat the crowds, and it sounded like they had invited a brass band to play. At one point it sounded like Adventures in Rhythm by Clean Bandit, so perhaps it is a marketing ploy after all.’

A Southend News Network reporter visited a number of other local stores to see how background music is being used to drown out undesirable noise. After cutting some speaker cables in Waitrose, there was a clear rhythm of immigrants being blamed for something or other, and the same experiment in Lidl exposed a soundtrack of one group of immigrants blaming another group of immigrants for something or other.’