IT is an uncanny likeness that has been commented on for years.
Now, an unidentified hacker has managed to hijack Spain’s official website for its presidency of the European Union, inserting a large, smiling picture of comic character Mr Bean in place of prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Where the Spanish leader was meant to introduce himself, the face of Mr Bean had greeted visitors with a cheerful “Hi there!”.
The supposed resemblance of the bumbling slapstick character, played by British actor Rowan Atkinson, has been a running joke in Spain for years.
A recent edition of newspaper El Pais printed a cartoon depicting Mr Zapatero as Mr Bean above an article critical of the government’s handling of the economy, which has seen unemployment more than double to about 19 per cent over the last year.
An official at Mr Zapatero’s office confirmed a security breach had affected the page set up to mark Spain’s six-month presidency of the EU.
He said no information on the site had been affected.