The fake Derek Griffiths story is taking some weird twists and turns. It turns out Paddy McGuinness was a bit less suspicious than I was and donated hundreds of pounds to what he thought was an autism charity to have lunch with “Derek”. As horrible as this is there is something darkly comic and Viz-like about the unlikely headline “Fake Derek Griffiths cons Paddy McGuinness”.
Jungle bronze winner (and there is nothing better than bronze) Iain Lee is as obsessed about this as I am and has been trying to get to the bottom of this, getting close to getting the fake Derek on his show and doing some good detective work. Apparently the parents of the fake Derek are going to reimburse all the money, but the police are unsurprisingly involved. But in an extra twist, despite claims on the BBC that the real Derek has never been on social media, when Iain talked to him on his show in August he did mention being on Twitter. What does it mean?
My guess would be that Derek or his people didn’t want the hassle of maintaining an account and took up the fake Derek’s offer to run it for them. And in that regard they did a good job. Following Derek made me very aware of his various plays and TV appearances. And of course sadly the scam could not have worked if the account did not have some kind of official approval somewhere. Or certainly not for so long. Because someone was bound to mention it to the real Derek (as indeed it seems Iain did) and if it was entirely fake Derek or his people would have contacted Twitter to stop it. And the tick suggests that someone must have officially sanctioned it somewhere.
I am not suggesting any collusion here. I would think Derek has been taken advantage of and that social media was something he didn’t fully understand or clearly keep track of. But the plot thickens. And well done to Iain for keeping on top of this important story. There’s no other news at the moment as vitally important as this.
But what a good choice Derek Griffiths was for this. Someone famous, but not that famous, that many people won’t have thought too much about recently, but who they will be delighted to be reminded about. Derek is an incredibly cool performer and I love him for what he’s done in the past and the present. And that love (and that tick) blinded me to the truth. I wanted the brilliant Griffiths to be my friend, just as much as Paddy McGuinness wanted to have lunch with him in return for a big charity donation.
But I wonder what other twists and turns there will be in this weird and fascinating tale of fame and thievery and the brazen attempt to try and get a free copy of Emergency Questions.
And RHLSTP is back after its Christmas break. The videos are up here
Audio to follow soon.