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Monday, March 03, 2008

Gullibility Goulash

Lovely story, this.

Man cons Americans into giving him work and money and fame by claiming to be a big mate of the Queen. Surely as old as the hills. Except this story is particularly hilarious for the sheer implausibility of the man's claim - among other things, he said that he had made Charles and Diana's wedding cake. At the age of 16.

The fun is not in the fact that the man is such an out and out fantasist (he liked to be known as "Sir Robert Irvine, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order"), merely that he appears to have been given his own television show, his own kitchenware range and a lucrative publishing contract before anyone actually twigged. Splendid work.

'A British chef who reportedly invented his knighthood, gifts from the Queen and stints in the White House has been dropped by his US TV employers.
Cable channel Food Network says it will not be renewing the contract of TV chef Robert Irvine, from Wiltshire, because of "inaccuracies" in his CV.

Mr Irvine told a Florida newspaper he was "truly sorry" for the errors.
He said he had made up parts of his work history because he had felt under pressure "to keep up with the Joneses."

Mr Irvine, 42, is host of a popular US cooking show, Dinner: Impossible, where he and his team of chefs work against the clock to produce food in challenging circumstances.
He has also written an autobiography, Mission: Cook, published last year - as well as heading a company that sells his own-brand cookware.
He said there were five levels of knights, and KCVO is the highest level of knight you could be. The Queen handpicks you.

According to the St Petersburg Times a Florida socialite, Wendy LaTorre, recalled that when Mr Irvine arrived in Florida, he told her he had a castle in Scotland.
He reportedly also claimed to have cooked for US presidents in the White House, was a friend of Prince Charles and had been knighted by the Queen. He also apparently helped to make the cake for Prince Charles and Lady Diana's wedding.
"It was an English fruitcake that weighed over 360 pounds," he told the Toronto Sun. "I worked on these elaborate side panels, which told the history of the royal Windsor and Spencer families - in icing!"
When asked by Ms LaTorre how he would like to be introduced, Mr Irvine said he would like be known as "Sir Robert Irvine, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order."
She told the St Petersburg Times: "He said there were five levels of knights, and KCVO is the highest level of knight you could be. The Queen handpicks you."

"Sir" Robert's impressive CV helped him secure wealthy backers for ambitious plans to open two upmarket restaurants in St Petersburg.
But, following his exposure in the local paper, the restaurants remain vacant and Mr Irvine's contract for a fifth season of his TV show has been cancelled.

Mr Irvine, originally from Salisbury in Wiltshire, admitted to the St Petersburg Times that he had had made up parts of his CV because of social pressure.
He said: "When I first came down there and I met people down there with all this money, it was like trying to keep up with the Joneses. I was sitting in a bar one night and that came out. It was stupid."'

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