Two previously thought insoluble mysteries were solved this week when Lord Lucan was found alive by Jeff Briggs and Alan Winton, two male catalogue models who spotted the peer crouching disconsolately by his makeshift shelter in a Dorset field, half a mile outside the cottage where they were doing a photo shoot for hard-wearing yet stylish underwear.
For decades, newspapers have speculated about what had become of the disgraced aristocrat, following his disappearance after the murder of his children’s nanny in 1974. Around the same time it had become apparent to the British public that the male models advertising the latest in man-made fibres seemed to be paying close attention to mystery objects or people outside the frame of the camera’s shot for reasons that could not be explained until now.
‘Our secret quest emerged from a group decision by an earlier generation of male models’ explained Winton, ‘It was the 1970s, and we were tired of being called poofters for hanging around smiling at each other in our Y-fronts and thermal vests, so we pledged to start solving mysteries to prove ourselves. That’s when the trademark ‘Hey, look over there!’ pose came into its own. We prevented fires spreading, alerted homeowners to burglaries, and caught sheep rustlers, but the main aim was to find Lord Lucan and bring him to justice. Today is a great day for catalogue models everywhere.’
Across years of changing fashions, and vision-challenging floppy fringed hairstyles, male catalogue models have worked tirelessly to get their man while branching out to other areas. The rise of the celebrity footballer saw David Beckham join their ranks and prove himself to be ‘a dab hand at spotting when a traffic warden is coming around the corner’, and since 9/11 an elite group of knitwear specialists has been on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, despite the challenges of posing in 62% pure wool Aran sweaters in the midday heat of the Pakistan border region.
But regardless of these successes the reflective but suave models still think back to the tough times. ‘Sometimes we weren’t on the scene till too late and for that we can only apologise,’ said Briggs, ‘Remember the 80s neon beachwear ads with guys in baggy shorts having a barbecue? Remember Shergar went missing? Let’s just say it was unfortunate that the first male models to get to the scene in that instance were a bit hungry. And French.’