It can be quite hard to tell when someone is joking these days, especially on the internet, which means that we end up with rather odd news stories like this: David Cameron’s office has denied that the former British Prime Minister posed for a photo to be used in the BBC One drama Bodyguard.
The rumour that Cameron had posed for a picture stemmed from production designer Matthew Clark. During a fascinating thread about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a show of this size, Clark suggested that Cameron posed especially for his photo cameo in the show:
Fun fact: Keeley Hawes is *such* a national treasure, we got David Cameron to pose for this photo and photoshopped him in to match her, rather than the other way around. pic.twitter.com/q4HRTVlSLc
— Matthew Clark (@mr_clark) August 27, 2018
It was hard to tell if Clark was joking, and his Tweet stuck in the memory as Julia Montague’s “Death Star” photo kept popping up in further episodes of the twisty drama.
Jim Waterston, Media Editor at The Guardian, admirably took action. He asked Cameron’s office to comment, and they shut down the rumour post-haste:
David Cameron’s office says this is not true, he hasn’t posed for Bodyguard and point to this original photo (https://t.co/zMkc4hKKTk). Doing my best to bring you all the very important news!!! https://t.co/VRylBQ3GNw
— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) September 17, 2018
Cameron’s office even went to so far as to point Waterson to the original photo: the snap, which shows Cameron with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, is available on Getty Images. It’s clearly the picture that was used in Bodyguard.
There you have it, then: a production designer Tweeted a joke, nobody could tell if it was a joke, The Guardian spoke to David Cameron’s office, and now we know that it was a joke.
In reality, the former PM did not pose for a special photo. The show’s production designers instead found a suitable snap on Getty Images and used PhotoShop to replace real-life politician Helle Thorning-Schmidt with Keeley Hawes’ fictional home secretary Julia Montague.
We’ll bring you more bizarre news as we hear it…