Monday 13 June 2011

Jan Moir Daily Mail column a hoax, claims US man


A newspaper column purportedly written by a bigoted middle-aged woman in the UK, which describes life in middle-England amongst the immigrants, gays, and poor people, has been revealed to be an elaborate hoax.

‘Jan Moir’ gained a worldwide readership and was closely followed by news organisations and people who really should know better.

But the true author has now come forward – Tom MacMaster, an American man studying in Scotland.

Many Daily Mail readers have reacted angrily, accusing him of trivialising or even harming the causes which they have been led to believer are actually important today.

“One day if I write a blog about there being nothing natural about the death of a gay man, many readers won’t care because I could turn out to be another Jan Moir,” wrote one UK blogger.

Jan Moir column a ‘fake’

The Jan Moir Daily Mail column, dating back to February 2005, claimed to document the life of 54-year-old Jan Moir, a former restaurant critic living in the UK.

Entries covered her social life and current affairs, but “Jan” also criticised the gay lifestyle and given a national platform to dubious ‘psychics’.

On Sunday, an apology to readers appeared on the column, signed by a 40 year-old American man studying in Edinburgh.

“While the narrative voice may have been entirely fictional, the opinions in this column are true and genuinely held by millions of people around the country.”

“Frightening, isn’t it?”

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