The Samaritans have today recruited 600 extra staff to deal with an expected surge in calls as troubled fans come to terms with today's revelations about rocker and teen icon Pete Dorthea. In a surprise press conference today, the men behind Doherty's career reveled themselves - and admitted that the Libertines, Babyshambles, the tales of drug use, the armed robberies and the affair with supermodel Kate Moss have all been part of one of the largest hoaxes in British history.
The men behind the scandal - Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, who were themselves infamous pop stars under the name The KLF - admitted how they plucked a young Buddy Holly impersonator Doherty from obscurity and made him a media darling. "It was a meant to be a quick stunt to show the frailties of our celebrity-obsessed culture," said Cauty, adding, "there are too many people who are famous despite their lack of talent, usefulness and basic intelligence. We wanted to do something that held a mirror up to that." Mr Drummond called Britain's pop-culture "sick" and said that although he regretted the hurt caused to Doherty's many fans, he hoped "this incident taught us all some important things".
In a prepared statement, the two men - famous for many other pop pranks, including the famous burning of GBP1million on a remote Scottish island - detailed how they manipulated the British Press into making Doherty an icon. Doherty - whose real name has now been revealed to be Trevor McDermott - was making a living as a part-time Buddy Holly impersonator in the Cornwall holiday circuit. He began a short-lived affair with the singer of a well known 80's rock band, and was introduced to Drummond and Cauty at a backstage party in London's West End. The men described how a drunken McDermott amused them with his slurred singing and frenetic dance movements, and how they then realised that this would be the perfect "dupe" for a plan they had been hatching for some time.
"The plan involved proving three theories we have about current British society," reads the statement. "The first is that in the so-called "alternative" scene, everybody is too scared of missing The Next Big Thing to worry about anything else." To prove this, some session musicians were provided to compose the rest of the "band", The Libertines, and rumours of exposed gigs were leaked to the media. "The gigs in question never actually took place, but we didn't have to worry about that. Soon the buzz around The Libertines was so frenetic, journalists were falling over themselves to claim to have been at the front of every single fictional gig." Within weeks, The Libertines were appearing on magazines and receiving record offers. Gigs sold out in minutes, while their first album "Up The Bracket" flew off shelves.
Feeling that their first point had been proved, Drummond and Cauty moved to their second theory: "We feel that our culture has become an enormous soap opera. We don't care what a person thinks, or creates, or contributes. We just care about what they do in their normal lives. Especially when it's something they shouldn't be doing."
To demonstrate this, the men coordinated a number of scandals. First was a robbery staged in the house of one of the band members. When this took place, McDermott (aka Doherty) was unknown outside of the alternative music scene. An incident of this calibre was sufficient, however, to catapult McDermott onto the front page of every major national tabloid. "One day we has just another singer, the next day he was 'Disgraced Celebrity Rocker', and he hasn't been out of the papers since". Further revelations about drug abuse and violence kept McDermott and The Libertines on the front pages for months.
One thing that took even Drummond and Cauty by surprise was the affair with model Kate Moss. "That was not something that we planned or had any involvement. Whether she knew about the hoax is something we are not party to. We have never had any contact with Miss Moss." However, this was the boost their project needed - where the drugs and crime had made McDermott a media sensation, the relationship with one of fashion's most famous women catapulted him into the world of true celebrity. "While we had not planned this, it certainly proved our point. There are many superior artists in the country today, but they never appear in Heat or The Sun, because they don't have the words 'boyfriend of Kate Moss' after their name."
Despite this boost, the project began running into a major setback for Drummond and Cauty. Just as they were preparing to enter the final phase of their scheme, Doherty decided that he wanted to part company with them, the fake band, and begin seriously recording music. He stopped all contact with the men, and threatened legal actions if any details were leaked to the press. "We were upset at the apparent failure of our grand project, and also at the monster we had created in Pete Doherty. Our third theorem - that 'If enough people say that a piece of s*** is a bar of gold, we'll believe it's a bar of gold' - seemed to have been beyond salvation. Fortunately, at that point Pete released the first Babyshambles album."
In the time since then, Drummond and Cauty have been locked in a vicious legal battle, which was eventually settled out of court by the discovery of a videotape showing McDermott singing "Peggy Sue" at a Butlin's in Devon. Publicly, McDermott still strongly denies all charges. How this affects the future career of Pete Doherty remains to be seen.
Professor Patrick McFadden
passed on Saturday 2 November 2014
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