Following the arrival of Nathan Barley on our TV screen last week, today's Independent asks the question no one else could even be bothered to ask: "how does it feel for the East London media set to see their lives lampooned on prime-time television? Do they even recognise themselves on screen?"
Apparently the only way the Independent can determine the answer to this is to spend "a day out in Shoreditch". So off they go to interview people in the East End to see if they're really like 'that bloke off the telly'.
First up is Nick Turner, owner of Small Fish Records on Old Street. Now we have to admit a certain bias here becasue we've visted Small Fish on numerous occassions and it's actually a very good shop.
Apparently Nick is picked because of what he's wearing: "short-sleeved T-shirt over long-sleeved T-shirt, shorts over tights." But as this is Nick's cycling gear and he's actually a "perfectly amiable" bloke it's strike one for the journo (although Nick admits that Barley-likes do come into the shop and he has to "hide under the counter until I've stopped laughing").
Next up is "Jon Colson, a post-production audio editor at Strongroom Studios in Curtain Street," who wears "a media-issue green combat jacket with a white hoodie, low-slung faded jeans, white belt and trainers". A prime contender you might think. But no, Jon is far too self-aware to admit to being a meeja knob: "he's a kind of ironic Nathan".
An ironic Nathan Barley? Isn't that ten times worse?
Next up is a 31-year-old independent-film producer, who lived in the area "before it was cool" and "who's seen his media utopia crumble before his eyes" Ahh bless him. Then there's a 25-year-old sound engineer who works at 93 Feet East, who is too full of enthusiansm "about the new bands he has seen" to be too like Barley apparently.
And then, finally, our intrepid journalist claism to have got his man: Jeremy Gilley, 35, who works in a brewery in Brick Lane, but is also an accomplished film-maker and campaigner for world peace. Doesn't sound like Nathan Barley to us, but there you go.
What's weird is the article ends with a flat admittance which negates the entire idea:
"If we haven't found the spitting image of Barley in the East End in February 2005, it's because most media trendies who live here have been receiving and relishing the satirists' attention since the 'Hoxton revolution' of the early Noughties. There's only so long you can take yourself seriously when everyone is laughing at you."
It took a whole day wandering around Shoreditch to figure that out?