A murder investigation is now underway .....

A police spokesperson in Southend has confirmed that a murder investigation is now underway after all four of the main actors in CBeebies kids show The Twirlywoos were found dead in Southend Town Centre on Saturday afternoon. Cops sealed off the area around the public toilets in Chichester Road shortly after 1pm following a phone call from a member of the public who had come across the four bodies, and late last night their identities were confirmed in a press conference – Det Ins Roger Clench announced that a search was underway for a key suspect who has been captured on CCTV in the area.

He said: ‘After some preliminary forensic investigations, it is with regret that we confirm that the four victims discovered yesterday were the main cast of the TV show The Twirlywoos – Graham Placebo, Nigel Perrington and William and Thomas Crockett. We have reason to believe that we need to be treating their deaths as suspicious, and we urge anyone with any information to come forward. All that we know so far from CCTV footage is that a member of the public may have mistaken the four miniature actors for rats or mice, and with an amount of alcohol involved they have then launched into a vicious attack. Our main suspect is 6ft 1ins tall, and he was topless with a pair of white Umbro shorts on that may have still had the Sports Direct label attached to them – we are hoping that someone recognises his Burberry-style cap. He was holding a can of Fosters lager at the time of the incident, and this was thrown to the ground when he ran off after the vicious attack had taken place.’

Fellow cast member Harry Featherton, who plays Quacky Bird 2 in the show, was nearby when the attack took place. He said: ‘We had been filming on location in Southend all morning for a future episode all about ‘louder and angrier,’ and the show’s producers knew that Southend Town Centre at the weekend would be the best place to capture these emotions. They took a ten-minute break from filming to use the public toilets, and a young guy just appeared out of nowhere and started screaming at them about ‘coming over here and taking our acting jobs’ in a drunken slur, and he just went crazy and started kicking them. The two guys playing Chickedy and Chick, William and Thomas, could have easily split up and escaped, but as we all know they always stick together and this time it has proved fatal for them.’

The Twirlywoos is the latest in a line of kids TV shows to run into problems when dealing with people in Southend. Just a few months ago, worldwide star Mr Tumble was suspended by the BBC after a viewer from Southend made a complaint about the clown not having a valid CRB check – the Union for Fictitious Personalities is planning a boycott of South Essex.