Ever since Charlie Sheen was dismissed from his role on the hit US television show Two and a Half Men earlier this year, following bout after bout of increasingly bizarre behaviour, there has been speculation about his replacement.
There were whispers that John Stamos and Rob Lowe were in the running for the role, with Hugh Grant recently touted as the top choice. Now Ashton Kutcher has been named as the chosen one, with many speculating that the show's producers will create a new character for him when filming for the ninth season begins in the summer, rather than have him take over the role vacated by Sheen.
This marks a return to the small screen for Kutcher, who started his career on That '70s Show, before moving on to star in and produce Punk'd. In recent years, the actor has become known for his films and for his prolific use of Twitter. He has already used the social networking site to express excitement about joining the show, and ahead of Friday's announcement cryptically tweeted: "what's the square root of 6.25?". The answer, if you haven't already guessed, is 2.5.
Sheen, meanwhile, couldn't resist a quick dig, telling the gossip website TMZ: "Kutcher is a sweetheart and a brilliant comedic performer ... Oh wait, so am I!" Later on Twitter however, he was more conciliatory, saying: "Congrats to the cast and crew...CBS & WB..! My best to @aplusk !! The show must go on... You got the right guy!" It remains to be seen whether the viewers will agree. with him.