We thought the Long Boi story had come to a sorrowful but peaceful end.
The duck, famous for his unusual height and kindly demeanour, was last May declared ‘missing presumed dead‘ after he hadn’t been seen at his home on the University of York campus for weeks.
Tributes flooded in, but underlying them all was the troubling thought: what actually happened to Long Boi?
This week, we may have found an answer to that question. A deeply disturbing answer.
A long-time devotee of York’s loftiest waterfowl is Greg James, the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show presenter. This week he was left shaken after being sent a clip from TV show the Great British Menu.
It showed comedian and series judge Ed Gamble looking forward to tucking into a dish called ‘Big Bren’s Runner Duck’.
This was created by Cal Byerley in his Northumberland restaurant. And as Greg observed: “Northumberland… not a million miles away from York. I am slightly concerned here…
“I don’t want to put too fine a point on it,” Greg added. “But I think Ed Gamble’s eaten Long Boi.
“I was a big fan up to this point, but if he’s eaten my friend then, things might have to change.”
Worse was to come. Ed Gamble’s fellow stand-up and co-host of the Off Menu podcast James Acaster later rang in to Greg’s show.
“You have no idea what you have stumbled across here,” James told Greg. “This man will not stop.
“Long Boi is the tip of the iceberg. You’re talking about the bloke who has eaten every Blue Peter pet that’s existed in his lifetime.
“He’s got to be stopped. He keeps talking about the golden dish. Long Boi is not the end. Look, I shouldn’t even tell you this. He’s going for Pudsey.”
Eventually, Greg decided to confront Ed Gamble. Live on his radio show he asked Ed: “Did you make sausages out of my friend, Long Boi the duck?”
Ed said he liked good food. “Your tastes do get to a point where the finest foods don’t do it any more.
“So you need to maybe stray into the area of famous animals, which famously taste all the sweeter.”
Asked about Pudsey, the bear with the eye-patch who is the mascot of Children In Need, the monster said: “I’ve already had one of his eyes.”
Is this truly what happened to the longest boi? Sautéed and devoured on television, all thanks to funding from the licence fee payer?
BBC, York demands answers.