Somewhere on British television, an actual rock and roll star was spotted. Many gaped. Few understood what was happening. The historical context is significant because, not since Paul Weller wandered into a BBC studio and glared at someone has one been spotted in recent memory. Was this a Gallagher brother? Heaven's, no.
Those watching at home were far more concerned with the Verve frontman's unusual ensemble than his announcement that he will be performing at London's 02 Arena in December.
Wearing a white blazer with thin dark stripes, a white scarf around his neck and a pair of green mirrored sunglasses, Richard opened himself up to an onslaught of abuse on social media.
One user said: "Richard Ashcroft is wearing sunglasses indoors, in the BBC Breakfast studios. Outrageous."
Another chimed in: "Richard Ashcroft. Mirrored shades. On BBC BReakfast? It's indoors you mancunian gimp. T**T. #BBCBreakfast."
It is impossible to gauge how long it has been since the English speaking peoples actually saw a rock star in the wild or in the confines of a comfortable television studio. Many pointed to the death of David Bowie this past January, and while Bowie was a rock star, he had traded in his glam rock outfits for more sensible attire. Others opined that the sighting of such a thing as a rock star was enough to remind people that today's pop stars are controlled by marketing people and are used as sales clerks, cannon fodder, and benign foofs for public entertainment. Many can sing and dance but few can write their own songs.
The mere site of a stylish, thin, European male with a noted pedigree in writing and performing music that is consumed by the discerning public at large caused tremors to ripple through the television viewing audience. No doubt, there was fainting and the gnashing of teeth. Do you know what follows? John Lydon using the work fuck as an adverb! Impossible. We cannot have this.
Few can cope with seeing a modern rock star nowadays. Someone needs to put Ashcroft in a road case and wheel him off to the states for a summer tour. That will allow passions to cool and sense to prevail.