‘All fool ye!’ How news networks were duped by the fake ‘royal town crier’ who hijacked Monday’s birth announcement in front of watching million
By James Nye Daily Mail PUBLISHED:25 July 2013
But it turns out that Tony Appleton, the town crier who announced the birth of the Prince of Cambridge outside St Mary’s Hospital in London was simply a great British eccentric – acting all by himself.
Despite playing his part for the millions tuned in around the world, East London resident Appleton has admitted his bizarre cameo had absolutely no royal seal of approval.
Bell in one hand, scroll in the other, Tony Appleton marked Monday’s royal birth by belting out an old-timey proclamation which began ‘Oyez, Oyez’ and announced the arrival of ‘the first born of their royal highness, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.’
In interview on Wednesday that he simply showed up in costume after getting a tipoff from a British journalist that the Duchess of Cambridge, better known as Prince William’s wife Kate, had given birth.
‘I’m a royalist. I love the royal family,’ he said by telephone from Romford, but he acknowledged he had no official royal role. ‘I came unannounced.’
Speaking today to Yahoo!, Tony, from Chelmsford, Essex, said he was stunned by how the world had reacted to his role in the announcement.
‘I can’t believe it, I’ve opened up the newspapers and my face is all over them,’ he said.
‘I was not invited, I just crashed the party. I got out of my cab and I stood in front of the steps, because I didn’t think I would be allowed on them, and did my bit. It was great.
‘It was a great atmosphere, it’s like the Olympics.’
Worryingly, security didn’t even check him, assuming he was from the palace.
That didn’t stop him from playing a bizarre cameo role on leading U.S. newscasts in the media frenzy surrounding the baby’s birth, nor did it prevent confused American journalists from identifying him as a bona fide mouthpiece for Buckingham Palace.
‘The royal crier delivering the royal news,’ was how CNN’s Anderson Cooper described the scene. On Fox News, Stuart Varney told viewers that Appleton was ‘the town crier making the official announcement in a very loud voice, all in his full regalia.’
‘Hear Ye, Hear Ye … Ye Old Department of Corrections shall herewith be presented,’ she told viewers.
‘We identified this man as the official town crier of London. Upon further review we now have the full story. His name is Tony Appleton. He is a town crier, but he is a town crier in … the town of Romford and Bury St. Edmunds. But he is not the official town crier of London, which is what I said.’
Buckingham Palace did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Appleton is a man of many talents. In addition to his town crier duties — which include leading parades and appearing at openings — he works as a toastmaster, a kind of master of ceremonies, at weddings, birthdays, and bar mitzvahs. He also owns a small nursing home in Romford
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