Shaun, yes I do mean the tube with one end split into 4 sections and splayed out!
Ugo, I know the screwdriver trick, but it doesn't work too well on longer headtubes with very stuck cups
Tel, the only flat bars I have are in use so I'm not about to chip them up!
I have run out of available household options - a metal curtain rail did the trick a few times, until I tried it on a very stuck cup. The latest effort was an aluminium shower curtain rail, which didn't even get one cup out before bending completely... I still have an aluminium broom handle I can try, but suspect it will go the same way as the shower rail
so unless I can find something else suitable around the house, then I'm looking at a "proper" one. maybe a cheap set of bars would be cheaper though