A COUPLE at the centre of a row over a supermarket pasty were a hot topic on Have I Got News For You tonight.

Linda and Tony Gilks, from Middlesbrough, were refused a meat pie because Morrisons would not sell them one before 9am.

Panelists Paul Merton, Ian Hislop, Janet Street-Porter and Sara Pascoe were asked by host comedian Lee Mack why the couple pictured 'were angry about pies'.

At first, Street-Porter appeared to have some sympathy with the Gilkes.

She said: "I thought it was only alcohol you weren't allowed to buy before 8 o'clock. Recently there was a special offer on Rose at my local supermarket. I went at half past seven in the morning when it opened and got 12 bottles of booze, got them to the checkout and they wouldn't sell them to me so I had a strop."

She said she left the wine on the checkout til 8am and went and sat in her car.

Mack said: "The more you analyse the story, the story is the pies came out the oven a bit early at Morrisons."

The discussion continued, prompting Mack to say: "You are all debating this more fiercely than the Syrian question!"

"I have been thinking about these people all week since I first read it," said Pascoe. "The press are like 'Tony has three fish and chips a week'. That's his personality."

Mack quoted the local media saying: "That was the strange thing because, according to the Teesside Gazette 'husband Tony eats fish and chips three days a week and rarely touches pastry'."

Referring to the photo of the couple outside the store, an unimpressed Pascoe said: "When the photographer from the paper comes along and says 'tell us your fascinating story again and then they hold these prop pies and they are putting on sad faces and they are like 'I had to go somewhere else for my pie'."

She accused Tony of speaking to all the papers 'like he was Katie Price'.

"Why were they so busy they couldn't wait ten minutes?" she asked.

Mack said the row had brought about a dramatic u-turn by Morrisons.

"Morrisons have agreed to sell pies from 7am!" he declared.

This angered Street-Porter.

"Now, the poor Morrisons workers have got to get off their arses, crawl out of bed, put their Morrisons uniform on, crawl into work at God knows what hour to bake a meat pie for those two miserable people so they can have it by 7.30am," she fumed.

It's not the first time the Gilkes have been in the news.

In 2007, The Northern Echo reported that they had lodged a catalogue of complaints against neighbours on the Thorntree estate in Middlesbrough, but were then the subject of counter-criticism.

Erimus Housing said it was going to Teesside County Court to seek an injunction against them, after receiving a 70-name petition from residents.

Speaking on Monday, Tony said he wanted to make clear the injunction had never been ordered.

Instead, the couple had agreed to an 'undertaking to the court' promising to 'not correspond directly with any employee of, or members appointed to, the board of Erimus Housing Ltd by email where the email address incorporates @erimushousing.co.uk except the appropriate housing officer", not to 'direct any CCTV camera so as to operate into neighbouring properties' and 'not to make trivial complaints to Erimus Housing Ltd, save that logs and/or diary sheets can be provided every three months".