US TV show Veep leaves Australia MP in stitches
An Australian MP has found to his cost that an outburst of laughter does not sit well with a mouthful of food.
Graham Perrett laughed so hard while watching an episode of the US political satire Veep that he choked on his sushi, knocked himself out and fell against a kitchen top.
The federal Labor MP, who represents Moreton in Queensland, was left with a black eye and three stitches.
He was later consoled on Twitter by the stars of the TV show.
Mr Perrett's mishap last Sunday was first reported in the Strewth column of The Australian newspaper.
It said the MP praised medical staff who looked after him but was worried that some voters might be put off by his appearance.
"I'm losing votes every time I show my face," he told the newspaper.
Mr Perrett later told BBC 5 Live that he had just laughed at the wrong time.
"It is a pretty funny show. Some rice went down my airway and I started coughing and choking and laughing at the same time," he said.
"I ran out of the room, I think I hit a wall and then the kitchen island with a granite top. My wife came in and I was on the floor. I was knocked out for a second or so and there was blood everywhere.
"She took me up the hospital. I was in a lot of pain but I was laughing as well. It was just one of those bizarre accidents."
Veep actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus was among the stars and writers who responded on Twitter, which delighted Mr Perrett.
"I hate to say it is my political highlight but I do feel like just dropping the microphone and walking away after Julia Louis-Dreyfus responded to my tweet and wished me well," he joked.
It is not the first time the hit TV series has inadvertently made its way into Australian politics.
Last year Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull campaigned under the slogan "continuity and change" - strikingly similar to that used by a presidential hopeful in an earlier season of Veep.
The show's creators expressed shock at the coincidence.