Mr. Drawn Boy has also achieved a not inconsiderable amount of recognition for his headwear - one omnipresent hat of the woolly bobble variety.

Unlike fellow head-adornment fan Mr. Jay "flash motors and a flashing missus" Kay, Gough has had his headgear swiped by a cheeky thief directly from whence it rested - i.e. atop his noggin, while innocently passing the time in a café.

"The guy who grabbed it must have been really drunk" explained Gough, but the Mancunian culprit soon sobered up, as the hat was returned in time for the charity auction in aid of Kosovo in which it was due to star on 2nd February.

Gough is philosophical about the attack on the famous hat (which is rather sweetly on permanent loan from his girlfriend's aunt) saying of the theft "people warned me it would happen one day".

He was less relaxed about outbidding the likes of ex-Smithsers Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke to gain joyful re-possession of the hat for the princely sum of £1500.

The innocent days of carefree bonnet-wearing are, however, over; there has been talk of having the hat insured , to henceforth be brought out on "Special Occasions" only.