Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

Proud To Be All Natural

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Oh look! There are fake mes on Facebook! Two Victoria Corens, with photos and everything. This is definitely a step up the celebrity ladder. With these sinister pretend mes, I have clawed my way from the Z rung at least as far as Y.

  I do have a real Facebook page but I never use it for anything, never post, take months to answer messages, I’m rubbish. I sometimes go on and click “accept friend request” to lots of people I don’t know, but there’s no value in it for them. I worry about people who watch Only Connect or read The Observer befriending these fake mes and getting dodgy fake information - having said that, they’re probably more active on Facebook than I am, so may make better friends.

  Interesting characters both. One of them seems to be a keen player of “MyTown”, some sort of internet property game, and has a lot of Greek friends. I approve of the latter enormously. I’m glad she’s found time to create an international social life, despite the long hours clicking “buy luxury hotel” and “remortgage”.

  The other (my favourite) has a birthdate of 1987. Ah….. not so much a fake me as a lovely parallel me, only 22 years old, dewy with hope and possibility for the future. I stare at her wistfully. Idealistic in her youth, she urges followers to say NO to capitalism, and stop live animal skinning in China. Fair enough. But I must say, as a poker player, it’s hard for the real me to say NO to capitalism. It’s not like I love it or anything. But I’d be more likely to join a group which encouraged its members to say A RELUCTANT AND SUSPICIOUS IT’LL DO FOR NOW to capitalism. Hurray for this fake young me with her stronger opinions. Good luck to you, you lovely hopeful young thing, I think as I click “report this user for impersonation”. There; that should kill her off by the end of the week.

  I also notice, as I look up these mysterious frauds (thanks to my friend Claire who emailed to let me know), that there is a new Facebook group, The ‘I Hate Victoria Coren’ society. The page advises you to join if you hate “her awful fashion sense as well as her stupid face!”. Sigh, they’re not wrong. I always had terrible fashion sense. Must try harder. Not sure what to do about the stupid face though. Are there plastic surgeons who can add signs of intelligence? Perhaps a couple of indents on the bridge of my nose, to imply the regular wearing of spectacles.

  The creator of the group, one Sarah Waterfield, has kicked off the discussion page with the statement “Hi! I’m Victoria Coren! I’m a div!”. I think that’s quite sweet, in a way. Call me smug (she does) but I don’t think that divviness is the most obviously annoying thing about me. I mean, God knows I have my moronic areas (I can’t wire a plug, I’m always losing my keys and I never understand the plots of thrillers) but I’m sure there are more obviously divvy people. I usually hear “privileged”, “fat”, “not funny” - they’re the big three - and they’re worryingly close to home. “Div” is a new one, it’s refreshing, it rings the changes. And I like the way she phrases it, “Hello! I’m a div!”. Never mind 22; it makes me feel 12 again. Happy days.

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Scott at 3:56 am on February 11th, 2010

Very thoughtful and whimsical look at the issue Vicky. I don’t understand the thought process of people that set up fake accounts, i mean what’s in it for them?
And the ‘hate’ page, really, get a life.
Glad you don’t (or i hope you don’t) take any of it to heart ;)

Carl at 3:57 am on February 11th, 2010

I do so love your writing style Vicky, you really make me laugh - kudos on taking it all so well.

Mike at 4:46 am on February 11th, 2010

I had a word on that “hate site” for what it’s worth.

schumi26 at 6:57 am on February 11th, 2010

Hi Victoria

great reply on that fake which is around. I do not understand why they do that. Stay like you are, then you are right. :-)

Phil at 10:08 am on February 11th, 2010

I guess the backlash is one of the more acrid slices of fame pie. The problem I have with hate groups like this is that you some across as so genuine and self effacing that you really don’t seem to have one of those giant, swollen egos that some people feel the need to prick.  Guess it might just be plain old jealousy.
Re: Divness; as a fellow sufferer, I would like to congratulate you on overcoming your divability and managing to present the most esoteric gameshow on TV.

Dan at 11:06 am on February 11th, 2010

You modestly omitted mention of the Victoria Coren appreciation society on Facebook.  A distinguished, august group of like-minded souls united in their appreciation of their favourite poker-playing wit.  (Not Phil Hellmuth)

Drumvesta at 12:01 pm on February 11th, 2010

Don’t worry, Vicky, there’s nothing wrong with being a div. Divs are great, specially the one I married.

Rob at 12:18 pm on February 11th, 2010

Hold on, hold on.

You’re saying these people are all fake Victoria Corens, but what proof do we have that you (i.e. the person writing/publishing this blog) are the real one?

According to whois your web site is owned by some dodgy-sounding company with a Lithuanian in charge; suspicious, no?

Come to that, how do I know that the person writing this comment is actually me? I mean, once it’s out there I have no proof other than my memory and alas, no longer being “eternally 22” myself, that is not such a reliable witness these days.

Now I’m confused.

“On the Internet, no-one knows you’re a div”

Jack Reynard at 12:57 pm on February 11th, 2010

Hi Victoria,

would you do an interview for my Poker Totty series?


John McLusky (verily) at 1:07 pm on February 11th, 2010

Odd, isn’t it, that your Hate Group woman chooses such an attractive photograph of you!

Victoria Coren at 1:07 pm on February 11th, 2010

Aw, thanks Mike. I looked up your message and you said very kind things, I’m touched. I think there shouldn’t be any more nice comments there - poor group,  their community wall now vandalized with pleasant remarks that spoil its grumpy unity - and what the hell, at least they’ve found a common interest; let’s leave them to it. It seems pretty harmless and I’m not going to look back there again, I feel like I’m eavesdropping! But I really appreciate your kind remarks, you’re a very nice man.

PS. Jack I assume you’re joking… ;-)

Darren R at 1:32 pm on February 11th, 2010

hi vicky, i saw your status update on facebook about the impersonators as im one of your ‘friends’. i shall have a look at them later. did you know devilifsh (im presuming its the real him) posts/updates fairly regularly on facebook and puts the much younger you to shame!

on another subject can i ask how am i writing this at 12.30pm 11th feb in reply to yours of 1.07pm 11th feb???

confused dal.

AndyTheDealer at 1:57 pm on February 11th, 2010

Vicky, you’re posting from the future!!  It’s only 12.48 in my world.

You couldn’t do me a huge favour could you?  I am having a spot of financial bother at the moment which could all be solved very nicely with a LARGE punt on the 15.40 at Huntingdon.  So, if you could post the result, 1st, 2nd and 3rd with their prices, (Just to maximize my return you understand) as soon as the race is over, I’d be extremely grateful.

The real you on Facebook is Alice isn’t it? 

That would explain everything.

KlooRhee at 3:32 pm on February 11th, 2010

Be more proud I say! Let haters do what they love the most. There’s plenty of stuff we love about you. At least I do. Like the honesty and unworldliness (got it from a dictionary so hmm probably not what I meant). And your pink watch and the eyes that shout fun as well as make me realize how lowly I am. And you are blonde, aren’t you?
Smiles and winks :]

AndyTheDealer at 4:45 pm on February 11th, 2010

Too late, too late, we must be living in the same time continuum after all.

seven2off at 6:12 pm on February 11th, 2010

well you are very fond of those $300+ stts…
online poker’s answer to the scratchcard.

i suppose you could be a div, with your bankroll at least.

Dom at 3:53 pm on February 12th, 2010

Clearly there just aren’t enough VCs to go around.

But as far as Facebook goes, I think you’d be better off deleting all the random friends and using it only for real friends and family. That’s when Facebook becomes useful.

Then set up a fan page and get it to import all your twitter tweets. That’s what all the A-listers do… or get their staff to do. You do have staff, right?

adam at 4:51 pm on February 12th, 2010

hi Vicki
just wanted to say, thoroughly enjoying the new series with questions i can actually get, i’m sure it can’t last. been catching up with your blog and the harp thing should, of course, go in the eden project. glad you are saying yes to more tv (i’m sure the call from strictly come dancing is on the way) and what is a div anyway. can only think it is short for divine.
i find the psychology of hate sites very puzzling. do you get them for people who are actually loathsome. “i hate harold shipman” for instance should be very popular.

Mark at 6:09 pm on February 12th, 2010

Must be jealousy pure and simple. You’re a babe! End of.

John at 5:41 pm on February 13th, 2010

Bugger… I bet I sent those virtual roses to one of the virtual VC’s.  Mind you, that virtual petrol station was never going to conjure up adequate blooms, so you didn’t miss much.  Happy Lurve Day.

Rain at 8:39 pm on February 13th, 2010

In a world which contains Mohamed Ahmedinejad, Vladimir Putin, Robert Mugabe, Ant and Dec and Kim Jong-Il, you should take it as a compliment that someone should feel so strongly about you as to single you out before such unspeakable villainry, and make you into a figure of hate. (Or am I being too hard on Vladimir Putin?)
I’d gloat like an unspeakable villain if I were you.

BBB123 at 11:53 am on February 14th, 2010

I agree ‘Div’ is a very strange choice of word & a bit old fashioned now. I remember that from the playground back in the ‘70’s, didn’t realise anyone under 30 still used it!
Anyway seems a bit more PC than ‘Spaz’ which was also very popular as I remember.

BTW enjoying OC this series as well & seem to be getting better at the missing vowel round,or are they a bit easier this series?

Roy Spencer at 5:47 pm on February 14th, 2010

Regarding today’s Observer column (I couldn’t see anywhere appropriate to post), your desire for unusual McDonald’s meals may be fulfiled one day.  I saw this yesterday:

Careful, though: if you haven’t seen the site before, it can be quite addictive.

Stevie P at 9:45 pm on February 14th, 2010

I agree with your commments about pub grub….i have also had my gutful of jus…...give me salad cream instead of mayo as well…sometimes.

ps - I am forty now(not sure how that happened) and found a 1986 copy of Just 17 last weekend(no doubt my sisters not mine)...interviews with 24 yr old Phil Schofield and problem page about boyf not being tall enough

Malc at 4:11 pm on February 15th, 2010

Nothing would put me off you!!

Sarah at 11:08 pm on February 15th, 2010

At least I brought div back!

jim deathhand at 2:15 am on February 16th, 2010

Sorry its not relevant but I wanted to say I just finished your book and it was brilliant. Feeling a bit empty though and in need of a decent book again, but you inspired me back to playing NLHE. Just won a SnG and ended a 10 buy in downswing so cheers basically:)
Facebook is just a forum for the continuation of schoolyard politics: if you point out who did it, I’ll beat them up for you. lolz

Damien at 2:34 am on February 16th, 2010

Your word shows are excellent, Your witt is perfect. Dont listen to the hate groups, Your lovely. Keep on presenting and winning :-) xx

shane phelan at 3:35 am on February 18th, 2010

hey vickey, your comments about the fakes are hilarious. i love your witty sarcasm, it’s awesome, and about them saying they hate your face ...ha what’s that all about. there’s times ive traveled from huddersfield to the vic to watch you play poker lol very pretty. and so what about your fashion sense you’d look hot in a bin bag, so sod it lol big fan x

Perrygarl at 6:47 pm on February 18th, 2010

I checked out the group. The first post was ” Who’s Victoria Coren”, but as your T.V appearances have increased so to has the backlash,  with people standing up to defend you. Like a tiny little revolution.

What disappoints me though is the quality of the haters. While there has been only one defence, the fact it considers you as a modern day Stephen Fry, to me beats the quotes “I’m a div” and “bet she’s shit in bed” (I find that quote funny, as he proceeds to then “like” his own comment) every time.

I hope the haters improve their remarks towards you, this could be an interesting little group. I would prefer to read this than to be constantly poked and reminded that someone has planted strawberries in their non-existent garden.

Jim at 12:43 am on February 21st, 2010

why is everyone male who posts on this?

Rhodri at 1:47 am on February 21st, 2010

lol , stupid but funny.  the hate group is closer to a compliment then the fakes

JB at 1:06 pm on February 21st, 2010

You are just so sexy and smart…and Jewish noch ! The nuts as far as I’m concerned.

Robsp at 7:47 pm on February 21st, 2010

I loved your mumsnet rant!!!

David Brider at 10:26 pm on February 22nd, 2010

*joins the Mistress Vicky appreciation society on Facebook*

Enjoyed tonight’s Only Connect.  Your explanation of the rules of the “weird” game should be immortalised.  Or at the very least put on Youtube…

Qucik question - will there ever be any more Balderdash and Piffle?

Victoria Coren at 12:37 am on February 23rd, 2010

Ah, well, you’d really have to ask the controller of BBC Two that, not me. Not my decision! But I think sadly no, there probably won’t be any more of that show.

David Brider at 7:25 pm on February 23rd, 2010

Shame, that was a wonderful little programme.  Still, enjoying Only Connect massively.  And after I get my next paycheck, I’ll be treating myself to a copy of For Richer, For Poorer.

Graham at 9:30 pm on February 23rd, 2010

Hmm lot of males backing up Victoria here. I wonder why? ;-)
Why am I here…? ahem..

leigh at 10:48 pm on March 1st, 2010

hi. good luck in Germany! never played poker myself, faking expressions and all that! Maybe i should look into it more! Can wire a plug tho and pretty good at getting the plot in films2! Which i find it hard to believe you struggle with. Have you seen Casino?! Anyway just wanted to waffle (just meandered here) wasn’t expecting to write!! good luck

stevo at 9:03 pm on April 9th, 2010

Just want to say you seem like such a cool person, I can’t belive anyone would would start a group like that. I’m loving your style! peace and respect

34512 at 9:26 pm on April 10th, 2010

Fat? Seriously? Unless you have put on two stone since the last time I saw you on TV, then that is not close to home! I would kill to look like you, and my boyfriend keeps talking about how good looking you are!

Jules at 2:57 pm on June 29th, 2010

Well I’m female & quite happy to stick up for Vic. Maybe Sarah’s boyfriend (assuming she’s straight) dumped her for a witty, intelligent woman who could actually string a sentence together, hence the resentment?

Steve Poole at 10:18 pm on July 19th, 2010

Hi Victoria…
              interested to know why “as a poker player” it’s hard for you to say NO to Capitalism?

dg at 5:21 pm on September 2nd, 2010

Just so you know, if you did click “report this user for impersonation,” it didn’t have the desired effect; they’re both still active, seven months later.

The latest post from the younger Victoria was:
“I need a hacker pls contact mee in my inbox message”

Which I thought was a little worrying. I’d be tempted to give the nice people at Facebook another poke if I were you.

PS if I got the wrong Victoria Coren, and I’ve just exposed your hacking plans, I apologise unreservedly.

dionysius smith at 2:47 pm on October 3rd, 2010

i initially just visited your site to read about your poker exploits, but i did enjoy the blog about your fake mes. ha!ha! i don’t know how you can be sure they are even women or sure about anything that they say. i like the grace and humour in which you allow them to have their opinions. none of things they say about you are true (i’m guessing), they are the fake ones afterall.

Martin Bailey at 11:26 am on October 15th, 2010

Well i saw you on tv last night and thought you were delightful. Don’t know your mum, but you obviously inherited lots of your dad’s good points. “Priviledged” yes, “fat ” no, “not funny” extremely witty rather than funny, but just a really nice person too.

Victoria Coren

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