A vile, fiendish, evil felon who makes his living terrorizing the citizens of McDonaldland by swiping their hamburgers at very inconvient times. Characterized by his black and white stripped prison uniform, wide brimmed hat, black cape, dual ties (with hamburger patterns, and constant uttering of the pharse "robble robble", The Hamburglar is still at large even after the serving of over one billion patrons. Several attempts have been made at catching the hamburglar, but all have resulted in either sympathy or escape....

Back in the day (by which I mean the 1970s), the Hamburglar was skinny and rat-faced and altogether more sinister-looking than he is now.

The BBC presents a Horizon special: "Whatever Happened to the Hamburglar?"

Cast your mind back, gentle viewer, back to better days when we were young and a trip to McDonald's was a treat for all the family. Yes, when Ronald McDonald ruled his yellow kingdom with a stripy fist and a smile. Whatever happened to this idylic utopia? Well, let me propose a theory. Cast your mind back yet further: as any child will tell you, the Roman empire grew to hold such power that all its opponents were eventually vanquished, giving rise to a complacent apathy which eventually resulted in its own downfall. Thus it is with all empires of man, and what is Ronald McDonald if not a man? Yes, a clown, but beneath that veneer of cosmetic happiness there lies a beautiful, flawed, complicated human being. Dear viewer, his empire crumbled merely because he did what was natural to all men, because he finally vanquished his long-time foe, the Hamburglar - nay, because he was human!

How did he accomplish this glorious yet ultimately pyrrhic victory? Documentary evidence has yet to come to light explaining exactly what happened, but in the absence of any overt violence it is all too clear: the Hamburglar was defeated from within. Let us look in on this historic moment...

Shot of Hamburglar carrying sack full of stolen burgers slung over one shoulder as he makes his way down a winding path.

Hamburglar: Robble robble!
Ronald: (leaping out from behind a tree) Aha! Hamburglar! I might have known! Drop those burgers immediately, the children are crying for God's sake!

Pan down to small child hugging Ronald's leg, crying.

H: Robble!
R: Give them here!

Ronald snatches the sack from the Hamburglar with a look of contempt and proceeds to hand the burgers back out to the children, who cheer Ronald and boo and hiss the Hamburglar. Camera slowly zooms into Hamburglar standing alone and defeated by the roadside.

H: (hanging head dejectedly) Robble...

As he wends his weary way down the winding path and into a setting sun, leaving behind the merriment and laughter of children, Radiohead's Exit Music (for a film) slowly fades in. The Hamburglar soon falls limply to his knees, and then, looking heavenwards...

H: (singing along to the line "Now we are one...") Robble! Robble robble! Rooooooobble rooooooobble robble! Robble!

The camera slowly zooms out on this tragic figure silhouetted against the evening sun, until we see in the foreground Ronald looking on, standing perfectly still. A small child drops her burger and cries silently into his leg. A tear falls from Ronald's left eye as he bows his head, and as the Hamburglar's broken and cracked robbles grace the lines of "we hope that you choke", the scene fades into blackness and silence.

And there, ladies and gentlemen, we have it. This one event marked the downfall of an entire franchise, and the Hamburglar has never been seen since. Ronald was checked into a clinic suffering with major depression six months later. Remember them both in your prayers.

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