It seems Lord Howell of Guildford - the Tory peer who sparked outrage in the North-East yesterday - has dug himself into an even deeper borehole today.

As we all know by now, his lordship was forced to issue a grovelling apology after suggesting that "fracking" should be concentrated on the "desolate" North-East, rather than spoil the beautiful south.

In this beautiful region of ours, his comments were treated with the contempt they deserve. Here at The Northern Echo we told him, bluntly, that we were well and truly "Fracked off" and that he didn't know what he was talking about.

Well today, it seems he's even more confused because he has apparently told North-East MP Ian Lavery that he was actually talking about Lancashire!

Mr Lavery, MP for Wansbeck, had invited Lord Howell to visit his Northumberland constituency to see the rugged beauty of the landscape for himself, and it was then that the peer claimed to have got his northern regions mixed up.

It's becoming more and more like a Harry Enfield sketch: "Durham? Lancashire? Oh, you know, up there in the bleak north somewhere. It's all the same - bloody desolate, don't you know."

So having offended us desolate souls in the North-East, he's now turned his attention on poor old Lancashire. I bet they're well chuffed.

Maybe he'd heard that Beatles song on the radio - "4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire" - and thought it would make it easier to get the gas out.

Who knows? It's just A Day In The Life of Lord Howell of Guildford. Quite bizarre.

Anyway, tomorrow's Northern Echo will contain a pull-out featuring pictures of gorgeous North-East views, and we'll be sending Lord Howell a copy.

And tourism bosses are inviting him to visit the region. He'll be expecting the invitation to arrive by pigeon.