A woman who believed she spotted her dead husband in an Indian restaurant’s new promotional video made a mistake, it was claimed today.
Widow Lucy Watson, 59, unwittingly cooked up a storm on the internet after claiming the footage showed her late husband Harry Doherty eating with his son Alex at the Spice Cottage near her home in Emsworth, West Sussex.
The post on the restaurant’s Facebook page sparked a flood of messages from social media users as far away as Tahiti and the US Virgin Islands, who bombarded the site with theories about the mystery.
But now Alex, 39, has come forward to settle the matter once and for all and confirmed that he and his late father do not feature in the video.
Alex (right), 39, has come forward to settle the matter once and for all and confirmed he and his late father do not feature in the video
Widow Lucy Watson, 59, unwittingly cooked up a storm on the internet after posting that the footage (above) showed late husband Harry Doherty eating with his son Alex at the Spice Cottage near her home in Emsworth, West Sussex
After seeing the footage for the first time, he told MailOnline: ‘No way. It’s not my dad and it’s not me. She’s got it wrong.
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‘You can see from the comments that people are really intrigued about it. They really want to know the answers.
‘The answer is that it’s not my dad – that’s it.’
Lucy had told how she was convinced she had spotted her ‘instantly recognisable’ husband – who was an award-winning journalist and a popular larger-than-life local character.
She said her husband, who died aged 61 in 2014, was ‘a big, distinctive man’ who had white hair and wore glasses.
She added: ‘I recognised the blue sweatshirt he was wearing and he is sitting there with his son Alex.’
Lucy told how the pair would occasionally dine at the Indian restaurant when Alex came to visit his father.
She believed the eatery had posted old footage in a drive to attract new customers.
Lucy (pictured) had told how she was convinced she had spotted her ‘instantly recognisable’ husband – who was an award-winning journalist and a popular larger than life character in the local area
She said her husband (pictured) – who died aged 61 in 2014 – was ‘a big, distinctive man’ who had white hair and wore glasses
She commented on the video post: ‘How old is the footage? My late husband and his son are on the first shot and he died in 2014??’
But the restaurant replied: ‘Hi Lucy Watson, sorry to hear this. This footage was recorded last week’.
Soon after, the issue went viral. Some social media users compared it with the case of Canoe Man John Darwin, who faked his own death in 2002 in a life insurance scam.
But Alex, a former world duathlon champion who competed for Great Britain, insisted Lucy had simply got it wrong.
He said: ‘It’s not him and it’s not me. When I opened up my laptop it’s completely obvious. Anyone who knew my dad would know that straight away.
‘The guy in the video looks like he’s bald for starters. He’s got hair on the side but he’s bald on top. The guy who is opposite him is older than me.
‘I feel sorry for the restaurant. They’ve done nothing wrong and all this is going on.’
Alex, who now lives in Worcestershire, said he had not been in contact with Lucy in recent years. He added: ‘I don’t know what she’s thinking.’
Alex, a former world duathlon champion who competed for Great Britain, insisted Lucy had simply got it wrong
The restaurant also stepped in to ‘clarify some misunderstandings’, with the man who took the footage issuing a statement on its Facebook page.
He said all the videos used in the promotion were recorded in the week commencing on January 9 this year.
Bodrul Islam, a manager at the establishment, wrote: ‘I run the social media side of the business and recorded the promotional video to portray our new wooden tables and interior refurbishment.
‘The refurbishment was completed in early January 2023 and the promotional video highlights these changes.
‘Before January 2023, all the tables were covered by white and red cloths, henceforth it is evident this footage is recent.
‘This is a very unusual situation and we hope this clarifies any confusion.’
Mr Doherty, who was born in Northern Ireland, won accolades for his coverage of the Troubles before moving to England, where he relaunched his career as a music journalist working for the now-defunct magazine Melody Maker.
Among the bands and artists he championed as they were trying to break into the big time were Thin Lizzy, Kate Bush, 10CC and The Boomtown Rats.
He went on to found his own rock magazine and become a friend of Queen guitarist Brian May after writing an official book on the band.
May sent floral tributes to the rock writer’s funeral after he died in April 2014.
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