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Take That menace UK comms infrastructure

Websites crash, phone lines go dead

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Reformed pop combo Take That - currently enjoying a bit of a renaissance while ex-member Robbie Williams mopes about counting his money - have proved the biggest threat to UK communications networks since the Luftwaffe tried unsuccessfully to bomb the Chain Home radar network in 1940.

But where the Germans failed, Take That have triumphed. Earlier today, tickets went on sale for the group's forthcoming and gusset-moistening "Beautiful World" tour, instantly reducing online sales sites to a crawl.

According to Keynote Systems, TicketMaster was brought to a virtual standstill "for the first time in two and half years", and between 9.15am and 10.15am the site was "only available to 80 per cent of users".

Ticketline and Stargreen were also semi-paralysed by the onslaught, while Aloud.com proved the only bomb-proof site, "maintaining a 100 per cent availability throughout the morning", albeit with a bit of a wait for pages to load.

While ticket etailers wilted under fire, Take That launched a simultaneous attack on BT's networks. One shell-shocked Reg reader wrote in to say that his company's phone system died for an hour this morning. BT's excuse? That "Take That tickets went on sale this morning and affected thousands of lines nationwide".

At the time of writing, UK TV stations are still broadcasting. Should your screen suddenly go blank, you'll know who to blame. Vulture Central has already implemented its disaster management plan and is as we speak stockpiling food and beer against a possible total collapse of Britain's communications infrastructure. ®

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