Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to appear in The Simpsons

Controversial whistleblower's appearance will mark the show's 500th episode

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is to appear in the 500th episode of The Simpsons.

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Due to air in the US on Sunday 19 February, the landmark episode sees the Simpsons hounded out of Springfield and decamping to a barren wasteland where they encounter Assange, who becomes their exiled “next door neighbour” in the wilderness.

Apparently, Assange, who is currently under house arrest in London fighting extradition to Sweden, recorded his lines from a secret location after Simpsons creator Matt Groening heard that he was interested in appearing on the show.

“He’s a controversial figure, and there’s a good reason he’s controversial,” said the show’s executive producer, Al Jean.

“There was discussion internally whether or not to have him on the show, but ultimately we went ahead and did it.

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“There’s nothing we did that has anything to do with the legal situations that he’s in…we wanted to make sure it was satirical, and he was willing to do that.”