Lancashire Life - not on a TV screen near you

Lancashire Life - not seen on tv

Lancashire Life - not seen on tv - Credit: Archant

Lancashire Life editor Roger Borrell on an unfortunate case of mistaken identity

No one has ever attempted to steal my identity. But then, I’m not sure I could give it away. I have been the victim of mistaken identity, though, and it has dogged me throughout my life.

As a child, my mother would always call me Graham, Clive, Paul before remembering that I was the smallest and, therefore, must be Roger.

School was no better. I was often punished for crimes I hadn’t committed. The more I protested my innocence, the more enthusiastic the punishment. I was made to feel a cad for failing to take someone else’s punishment like a man.

It continued into adulthood (but without the physical pain. Mostly). Many years ago I was dragged along to a press ball where I won a stick-on heated rear windscreen for a car I didn’t possess. You may laugh but this is the only thing I’ve ever won.

The glory of this moment was lost when I went on stage to what seemed like rapturous applause, raffle ticket in hand, only for the compere – someone I worked with every day - to introduce me as someone else. Instead of triumphantly keeping said heated rear windscreen until I could afford the rest of the car, I dispatched it in a bin in the back lane.

On the first big paper I worked for I was regularly mistaken for another journalist. That was particularly irritating because not only was he workshy but quite without any charm – qualities I had yet to attain. I often wonder if he ever had the good fortune to be mistaken for me.

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On another publication, I arrived at the office with the larks to be met by a sad-faced Bridie, the Irish cleaning lady-in-chief who told me: ‘Isn’t it terrible about Roger Borrell?’

My blank expression was met with a tearful explanation that he (or me) had fallen down a cliff while on holiday and broke my (or his) neck. This was, in fact, someone who sat several desks away from me but I like to think that Bridie still lights a candle for one of us on the anniversary of our death.

More recently I’ve been getting calls on my mobile from a lady who sounds of Caribbean extraction. She will anxiously ask me if I have goat meat to sell and seems puzzled when I tell her this really isn’t my line of country, madam.

To cap it all, in recent weeks I’ve been vilified by a small but vociferous group of social media enthusiasts. They’ve accused me of a catalogue of crimes. These have included ruining Coronation Street, being an affront to the spirit of Christmas, and being tackily down-market. One even used a four letter word in one of those sentences that only appear online with full stops between the words as in ‘What. The.’ I won’t go on.

Apparently the offending item is a television commercial involving what looks like a bearded dwarf and a somewhat larger, clean-shaven fairy.

I know this will make you beat me all the more vigorously, but hand on heart, This. Is. Not. Our. Advert. It belongs to some other publication and it’s perfect for them.

Have a wonderful 2014

Roger Borrell


Pssst. Wanna buy a goat?

If we ever did run a TV campaign what should we feature? We think the music from the Hovis advert and a tripe appearance would do the trick.

Tweet your suggestions to @lancashirelife