Lloyd Webber web hoaxer unmasked

Phantom of the Opera.com

The identity of the literary hoaxer who made the pages of The New York Times last year can finally be revealed.

The prankster posted reviews under the name of "Andrew Lloyd-Webber" - Britain's best-loved composer - on Amazon.com. The publishing giant rapidly removed the reviews. Regular readers can probably already guess the hoaxer's identity.

"Other false Lloyd Webber endorsements went to guidebooks on combating halitosis and premature ejaculation," noted the Times. "Lord Lloyd Webber was not available for comment."

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We can now confirm the author was Henry Raddick, Amazon.com star reviewer and composer of over two hundred erudite contributions to the online book giant's pages. Raddick has featured in Slate, the Online Journalism Review and gained a cult following amongst bloggers.

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Speaking to The Register last night from a public house in Holborn, London, with his pug Grendel at his side, Raddick confessed to being the author of the "Lloyd-Webber" reviews.

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We have also able to obtain rare screen shots of the now-deleted Amazon reviews. These, we repeat, were not written by Lord Lloyd Webber.

The news could come as a disappointment to Ross Allan, who was naturally "pleasantly surprised" to discover that the knighted composer of Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Evita had given Allan's Dog Obedience Training the personal seal of approval. ®

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Henry Raddick - man of letters [our exclusive interview]

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