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Never let the truth get in the way of a celebrity lunch companion. That, at least, seems to be the philosophy of One Essex Court’s top dog, Lord Grabiner QC.
Clearly displaying his ability to pull the wool over unsuspecting eyes (in this case his fellow Law Lords), Grabiner took his wife and clerking team, messrs Darren, Paul and Robert, to lunch at the House of Lords for the opening of Parliament.
Darren, it seems, bears a more than passing resemblance to England’s great rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson, a detail with which Grabiner delighted in making merry mischief. Far from clarifying the identity of his less-than-famous, though no less able, guest (Darren is also understood to possess a prodigious right boot, but prefers to ply his trade on the playing fields of Essex in another, less rarefied, sport known as ‘soccer’), Grabiner delighted in perpetuating the myth.
At luncheon’s end (during which his lordship encouraged Darren into some duplicitous autograph signing), Grabiner was still enjoying the ruse and proceeded down the corridors of power proclaiming his… ahem… famous guest to his fellow Law Lords.
Although Tulkinghorn can inform readers that Darren does indeed bear some resemblance to Mr Wilkinson, it is a little disturbing that some of the most respected and intelligent individuals in the land failed to recognise the esteemed advocate’s identity fraud? Not least since it was perpetrated using possibly the most recognisable Englishman in the world at that time.
It just goes to show that you can never underestimate the power of the ‘G’ word.