Monday, 17 September 2007
PC Stuart Davidson, AKA PC David Copperfield
So now the secret's out. (A little early, actually: we were hoping to keep it under wraps till after Panorama tonight, but there we are.)
Stuart has kept it quiet for three years; that's some feat in the police, where, as any copper will tell you, banter and gossip are endemic.
We went to his leaving do in June, and there were people there from his own shift who had no idea (though one or two others had twigged).
Working with Stuart and publishing his book has been a great pleasure. He really is a very funny bloke, and also a very good writer, and he's become a good friend.
A few interesting facts about him:
1. He has several commendations for bravery. I believe one of these relates to the time he was beaten up by a lesbian.
2. He passed selection for the SAS. This is true, not a joke. The unit in question was 23 SAS, the TA version.
3. His wife is Indian, which only goes to confirm the stereotype that all police are racist bastards.
4. He's known to some in the police as 'William' on account of the fact that he looks quite a bit like former Tory leader William Hague.
5. He's on Jon Gaunt's Talk Sport show and Radio Five Live's Victoria Derbyshire show tomorrow.
It feels a bit like we've come to the end of a long road. We've had to keep his ID secret, deal with a lot of media and listen to the Police Minister calling him a liar and a fraud. Well, it takes one to know one, Tony.
I'd like to thank the officers who have known who 'Copperfield' really was for the last couple of months for keeping schtum.
I'd also like to thank the following journalists, newspapers and other media outlets: The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, The Guardian, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Times, The Sunday Times, Constabulary, Police Review, The Simon Mayo Show, BBC Newsnight, Anita Anand's Five Live show, Sky News, Peter Wilson of BBC Midlands Today, 20 or so regional radio shows and, of course, Panorama.
They all knew Stuart's real identity, too. We had to demonstrate his policing bona fides by revealing his name and force to them, and they all respected his confidentiality.
Now. PC Bloggs.
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