What Andrew Lincoln should do next
THE bad news is Rick Grimes is leaving The Walking Dead; the good news is Rick can roll right into another show as our TV avenging angel.
Because boy is our zombie-slayer needed.
The disconcerting news that Andrew Lincoln is making the ninth season of the smash-hit gore-fest his last, broke earlier this week. But before the Walker Stalkers of the world wail at the irreplaceable loss of the show's lead character (sorry but laconic Daryl and his greasy Britpop hairdo just isn't going to cut it), I have a plan.
No doubt actor Lincoln, who had previously found fame as the besotted Mark in Love Actually and before that as Simon in Teachers and Egg in This Life, is wanting to do something more with his career than bash in the heads of the living dead like he has been doing on repeat for the past eight years.
But before he bins his grubby shirts and cowboy boots, we have a few little housekeeping jobs for Rick on our other TV favourites. Here are my Rick picks to keep him on the small screen:
The Handmaid's Tale: Before we all perish with the relentless misery of watching those poor white-winged handmaids get tortured and abused for a second season, the solution to Gilead's oppressed inhabitants' woes would be to send in Rick and Michonne - by far the best character on The Walking Dead - to wield their swords and get Offred out of there.
Game of Thrones: Rick's CV means he has the perfect experience to stick a dragonglass sword into the Night King's eye and save Westeros from those other Walkers. After all, Jon Snow could do with a hand - he's got a bit sidetracked lately what with falling in love with his aunt and all.
Stranger Things: No offence to Eleven, but it's hardly fair to make one little girl responsible for mind-clearing all the monsters stubbornly lurking under your town, is it. Plus, it gives her a nasty nosebleed every time. She also needs a little more help than the well-meaning policeman Jim Hopper. But we know a top cop at a loose end - bring in Rick and he will give those scary devil dogs the flick.
Dr Who: After that it's time for Rick to nip over to the UK and visit The Doctor - in her new form of Jodie Whittaker. We hear she's recruiting for assistants and who better to do in the Daleks and other shonky alien invaders than Mr Grimes.
MasterChef: Even a zombie-hunter needs to eat, so Rick's next stop should be our favourite cooking competition, MasterChef. He's an expert in the increasingly-fashionable foraging and can whip up a mean squirrel surprise or worm waffle, with some of Carol's acorn cookies to finish. The best part would be seeing Matt Preston's face as he tries it.
The Block: Rick's final pick should be the home renovation reality show The Block - because our hero's going to need somewhere to live after he hangs up his hat. Forget Josh and Jenna, Rick and Michonne would be the dream team. They're good at demolition, they don't mind getting their hands dirty - and they are used to working with numbskulls.