It can be revealed today that the characters Gollum (Lord of the Rings) and Dobby (Harry Potter) are the same and only exist as part of a secret job share agreement.

The news broke on last night’s Graham Norton show after both characters had been booked to appear as guests. But it very quickly became obvious that all was not well backstage when neither came out for the roll call at top of the show, leaving a red-faced Norton to bluster and fluster as he welcomed the other guests David Walliams and Kylie Minogue.

The show was struggling on when suddenly after about fifteen minutes and completely unannounced Gollum slithered on-stage to a standing ovation from the audience. A baffled Norton said: ‘Ah Gollum, welcome to the show. Is Dobby on his way?’

It was then that Gollum, aka Sméagol, dropped the bombshell. ‘No he isn’t! Hsssss! For he issss here already. He is me and I am him! We are the same person. Aiiieeee!! After Lord of the Rings I was out of work so I asked JK Rowling if I could appear in Harry Potter as a guest. Hssssss!’

‘But nasty Tolkien estate wouldn’t cut poor Sméagol a break, so nice Mistress Rowling cast him as Dobby. And although prosthetics weren’t bad nobody was really fooled. It’s been hell since trying to keep it all under wraps but now we must come clean. Hsssss! See, Graham, I is a one-trick pony and as Dobby’s speech is practically identical to that of Sméagol I was quickly rumbled. I just couldn’t live with all the pressure any longer. Oh gollum-gollum-gollum!’

Experts say that the news will now spark one the biggest legal battles the book world has ever seen with multi million dollar lawsuits being talked about openly.

Meanwhile Potter author, J K Rowling, was quick to deny the story as a publicity stunt. She told The Times: ‘This is pure rubbish and just another smear story like the time they said that Gandalf and Dumbledore are the same person. However as I said then, it’s total rubbish because Dumbledore is the avuncular Headmaster of Hogwarts, whereas everyone knows Gandalf is lead singer with the Boomtown Rats.’