A working class family from Essex was deported from the Greek Island of Corfu last night amid claims that they had failed to live up to the tawdry reputation of British holidaymakers there.
Bricklayer John Dobbs, his wife Debbie and their three sons were moved to four different hotels before being asked to leave after they repeatedly appeared pleasant, respectful and friendly to locals and fellow tourists.
Island police say they received complaints about the family alleging they were polite to the hotel staff, controlled their children and didn’t drink excessively. They even supposedly went up in the hills to visit local landmarks and religious statues, where Mr Dobbs was overheard explaining; ‘That’s a statue of Athena, son, the Goddess of posters. And this one is Socrates, who invented the triangle…’ The police decided to take action after local waiting staff complained that the family seemed simply incapable of referring to them en masse as ‘Stavros’.
A spokesman for Thomas Cook said they hadn’t initially suspected the Dobbs family to be troublemakers. ‘Mr Dobbs certainly looked the part – he had the bald head, the tattoos, the paunch, you name it. Mrs Dobbs too fitted the profile of our typical tourist clientele, with Argos jewellery, replica Hermes handbag and a small, and in no way sexy, dolphin tattoo on her shoulder. The kids were dressed in standard issue England football tops, one of them even believed to be official FA merchandise.’
But then it all started to get nasty the next day when there were complaints from fellow holidaymakers that the family were attempting a bit of Greek and enquiring about local delicacies when ordering food in restaurants and not just looking at the pictures on the menu and pointing. They were moved to different hotels for their own safety but the same problem arose. Eventually the tour operator had no choice but to send them home.
Mr Dobbs, 37, back in Romford last night, was puzzled by the deportation, claiming that the authorities overreacted. ‘We were treated like animals. As we were led out of the hotel, the other families cheered, with one woman calling me a disgrace and saying I should be ashamed to be British.’
The charter airline that flew the Dobbs family home revealed that the family also upset fellow passengers by failing to clap when the plane touched down.