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Where is the ‘Canoe Man’ John Darwin Now?



Two decades after Hartlepool prison officer John Darwin attempted to fake his own death in a canoeing ‘accident’, ITV aired a dramatised version of the bizarre events.

The former prison officer paddled out to sea in a canoe near his family home at Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool, before ditching the vessel to give the impression that he drowned. The ‘Canoe Man’ had attempted to disappear in 2002 in order for his wife Anne to claim life insurance money before being caught out in 2007 and jailed for six years for the fraud. After his disappearance in March 2002, a large-scale search involving the scouring of 62 square miles of coastline looked to have confirmed the worst, as only a single paddle and then the wreckage of his kayak was discovered.

For much of Darwin’s missing five years, he had been living in secret in his own home in the seaside resort of Seaton Carew, where he shared a bed with his wife. When family and friends visited and his sons returned from the inquest into his alleged death, Darwin hid in a bedsit next door that was accessed through a passageway hidden behind the door of a fake cupboard.

Darwin later admitted that he would carry out DIY on the front of his family home and even walked around his area disguised as an old man – even as his two now grown-up sons Anthony and Mark continued to grieve for him thinking he was dead. The couple even lied to their own children as they attempted to claim pension, benefits and insurance to clear nearly £700,000 before they were caught.

Just under a year after he disappeared, Darwin turned up at his family home looking ‘an absolute mess’, his wife said.She claimed that she had really believed he was dead before he turned up.

‘Although I was pleased he was still alive, I think deep down a part of me was always angry,’ she said.

‘To think of what he put us all through. He had basically come back expecting me to forgive him.’

She claimed that she wanted to report what he had done but he then threatened to say she had been involved from the start, so she was ‘trapped’. At the inquest into his disappearance in April 2003, Mrs Darwin was able to have her husband declared dead, even though the seven years that is usually needed after someone has gone missing had not yet passed.

The couple eventually decided to leave Seaton Carew and move to Panama City to start a new life together before their secret was exposed by the discovery of an infamous photo of them posing in a Panama real estate office in July 2006. Darwin, stole the identity of a dead baby named John Jones.

The family home was sold and the couple spent several months together in Panama after they had bought a £50,000 two-bed apartment in a suburb of Panama City. They also hoped to open a canoeing centre for eco-tourists.

But Darwin then wanted to return to the UK because, Mrs Darwin said, he missed his sons. He said he would claim to have suffered amnesia.

The famous Panama photo, 2006

Knowing there was a viral photograph of them in Panama, Darwin walked into a police station in December 2007 and said he thought he was a ‘missing person’ but said he could not remember anything that had happened in the past five years.

When their two sons were called to the police station to be reunited with their father, the couple had to pretend to be astonished as they too saw each other again.

During their time in prison, the couple divorced with John citing ‘unreasonable  behaviour’ as a reason for the split. John moved to Manila and remarried after the divorce to Filipino woman Mercy Mae Avila Darwin, 48.

In 2008, after the scandal made national headlines, John was found guilty on deception charges and jailed for six years and three months. Anne was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail for fraud and money-laundering charges. After her release from prison, Anne Darwin moved to a village near York and was able to get a job with the RSCPA thanks to qualifications she gained in prison.

ITV drama about John and Anne Darwin’s fraud. The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe airs in April.


Yorkie’s ‘not for girls’ advert from 2002 has gone viral and people can’t believe it aired



With over two decades passing, some people are only just discovering the Yorkie ‘not for girls’ advert from 2002, and they can’t believe it.

That’s right, over 20 years have passed and younger generations are only just coming across the advert for Nestle’s thick milk chocolate bar, with mixed opinions on it.

Many can’t believe it made it onto TV, while others think the advert was ‘proper genius’ and ‘just a joke’. Either way, all would agree it probably wouldn’t go down so well today.

The Yorkie slogan in 2002 went as follows: “Five big chunks of masculine chocolate. Yorkie… it’s not for girls.”

The advert shows a woman disguising herself as a man to try to purchase a Yorkie bar from the shop.

But she is challenged by the male shopkeeper to answer a series of ‘manly’ questions to prove her ‘masculinity’ as the bar is branded as ‘not for girls’.
The advert has cropped up again on social media, and many have been sharing their opinions on the ad.

One person recalled: “As a girl I simply accepted the fact I would be arrested for attempting to buy a Yorkie.”

While another chimed in: “Yep, and I remember the massive kick off. I haven’t bought a Yorkie since.”

Others said they thought it was a great marketing tactic from Nestle seeing as it caused many women to head out to buy a bar in defiance, and many men choosing the chocolate while enjoying and benefitting from the ride – a successful marketing campaign, for sure.

Do you remember the advert well? See the video below either for the first time or to brush up on your early 2000’s tv knowledge!

The full video here –


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Sir Michael Parkinson has died.



Broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson has died at the age of 88, the BBC has announced.

The former journalist was one of British television’s most famous faces through his talk show Parkinson, which initially ran on the BBC from 1971 to 1982.

He relaunched the show on the BBC in 1998 before it moved to ITV in 2004, until he retired the programme in 2007.

Over more than 800 episodes, Sir Michael interviewed some of the world’s most high-profile figures – including Muhammad Ali, Sir Elton John and George Michael – and helped make comedian Sir Billy Connolly a household name.

But despite his long and industrious career, Sir Michael’s 2003 interview with Meg Ryan went down in history as one of his most memorable shows.

The chat show king was faced with a stony-faced Ryan, who delivered one-word answers as she promoted her poorly received erotic thriller The Cut.

More than 20 years later, he offered an apology to the actress and admitted neither of them were on “top form”.

In 2013, Sir Michael revealed he was being treated for prostate cancer – but said he had no intention of stopping working.

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North East football top appears in the new Gal Gadot Netflix film Heart of Stone!



Netflix have released a brand new film starring Gal Gadot, titled “Heart of Stone”. The American spy action thriller is centred around Rachel Stone, an intelligence operative who stands between her powerful global peacekeeping organization and the loss of its most valuable and dangerous asset.

A certain clip from the film has been going around Twitter recently though due to the costume of one of its characters.

During an intense chase scene where Rachel Stone (Gal Gadot) is fleeing from the pursuing gunmen hunting her down, one of the characters can be seen to be wearing none other than Middlesbrough’s home shirt from the 09/10 season!

One Twitter user wrote, “@Borohow the hell did this happen? Sat watching the new @GalGadot film and a bloody Boro fan is trying to kill her!!!”

You can see the clip here! –


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