After undercover journalist Mazher Mahmood, known as the Fake Sheikh, was found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice, Dalston’s own lookalike reporter fears being caught up in an orgy of revenge prosecutions by a humiliated police force.
‘Yeah,’ said the Mercury’s own Wayne Biro, ‘we are tireless champions of truth and justice, us undercover vigilantes of the press. I can’t tell you the stuff I’ve dressed-up as to hold the actions of villains to the unblinking eye of the law. Unlike plod, what just walks about stroking his truncheon handing out parking tickets. It’s people like me and the Sheikh what keeps this country safe.’
Mr Biro (not his real name; that’s Ken Lager of 17, Lesotho House on the Clement Attlee Estate. Green door. No bell. Key under the geraniums) has assumed a wide variety of identities in order to bring evil-doers to court. Each of his cases has served only to add lustre to the name of British journalism and has won the unstinting admiration of the public, he asked us to say.
‘Yeah,’ he reminisced, ‘Mazher Mahmood had his Fake Sheikh and his stings of international celebrities and captains of industry. But I’m particularly proud of my years spent as the Sham Pram, wherein I dressed-up as a baby buggy to catch litterers outside the Kingsland Shopping Centre.’
‘Also, my brief period as the Fraud Broad was very productive, when I used to dress up as a bird with a massive rack and then twat any bloke who tried to feel me up. The police didn’t seem keen, but I feel sure members of the public were fully appreciative of these important exposés. Except the members of the public I hospitalised, obviously.’
Mr Biro’s stint as the Fraud Broad was brought to an end when he was picketed by the local LGBTQIA community. ‘That was unfortunate,’ Mr Biro told the Mercury. ‘I tried to compromise with the homosexuals; for a while I became the Dummy Mummy. I even went down a couple of cup sizes, but they just weren’t having it, so I packed it in.’
His six months as the Imposter Composter were even less successful: ‘People just kept dumping hedge clippings on me. I handed in the evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service, but through their total refusal to act I’m afraid our streets are still infected by the poison of illicit privet disposal.’
Despite fearing prosecution in the light of the Fake Sheikh case, Mr Biro is determined to continue his undercover journalism and is currently seeking nouns or occupations that rhyme with ‘hoax’, ‘forgery’, or ‘shameless confidence trickster’.