Cue a hoard of 'stinky French' jokes from everyone in the south of England that's currently having to put up with the noxious cloud that's spread all the way across the channel from a chemical factory in France.

The smell, which is being referred to as 'le pong', has driven residents in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and parts of London to call emergency services after they smelt the foul cloud wafting around them after the gas mercaptan was accidentally released from a factory in the northern city of Rouen, France and drifted across the sea to England.

Dorset police had to release a statement after the unprecedented number of calls from people who thought there might have been a gas leak saying:

'Emergency services and gas agencies have received many calls from members of the public today reporting the smell of gas. This appears to be strongest across the coastal towns of Dorset and other southern counties.

The smell may be linked to a large release of gas stenching agent (Mercaptan) in France which appears to have crossed the channel on strong easterly winds.'

As you can imagine, the Brits aren't pleased with their French 'gift'.