BBC television presenter, Angela Rippon, stunned friends and colleagues yesterday by revealing that she is actually two dwarfs standing one atop the other, and not the fully grown adult female she has been masquerading as since first appearing on television in 1974.
At an emotionally-charged gathering, Angela – in truth sixty-three year old dwarf twins Kenneth and Edna Williams – finally came clean after what the former Come Dancing hosts described as “much soul searching and discussion”.
“For three decades we’ve lived a lie,” Kenneth told the stunned visitors to the luxury West London apartment he shares with sister, Edna. “But we’ve decided it’s time to come forward and show the world there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being two little people standing one on top of the other.”
Added Kenneth: “In a dress.”
The twins – who first began their charade in the early 1970s, after being told they were “too short” to present a prime time BBC news show – say they are sorry for their years of deception, but hope that by coming forward they will encourage others in the same situation to do likewise.
“Over the years we’ve come across half a dozen BBC and ITV household names who are actually two little people standing atop one another’s shoulders,” Edna revealed. “If by ‘coming out’ like this we can help give them the strength to do the same, then we’ll both be very happy and all this will have been worth it.”
Kenneth added that another reason for the revelation was that as he got older he was finding it more and more difficult to support Edna’s weight, and the pair had become increasingly concerned they may lose their balance and topple over during filming of Holiday Hit Squad for the BBC.
“That would just have been the worst possible way for the secret to get out,” said Edna. “Can you imagine poor [co-host and former Blue Peter Presenter] Helen Skelton’s face if that happened? It doesn’t bear thinking about.”
A spokesman for the BBC said they felt “cheated and let down” by Rippon, who was awarded an OBE in 2004, but insisted that no decision would be made on the presenter’s future at the corporation until a full investigation had been carried out.