You’ve all heard the rather wacky theory that John F Kennedy, Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Princess Diana et al aren’t dead at all and are living on a remote island somewhere in the world, well Paul Whitelock thinks that Andalucía is also a hiding place for the rich and famous.
WE’VE all heard these theories about JFK, Elvis, Princess Diana and the rest and we probably dismiss them as rather crazy. However, I can vouch for the fact that a number of doppelgänger and lookalikes are alive and well and living here in the Serranía de Ronda.
I first noticed back in 2001 that Leonid Brezhnev, the late Russian president, was living in the small village of Montejaque. He still does, and remarkably, has learned to speak fluent Spanish.
A couple of years later I noticed that Robert De Niro spends a lot of time in the Barrio San Francisco in Ronda. His Spanish is pretty good too!
Around that time a dead-ringer for World Champion snooker player Dennis Taylor was sitting across from us on our easyJet flight from Liverpool to Málaga. Nope! He turned out to be the real thing!
In 2005 I went to a modern flamenco concert in the Palacio Mondragón in Ronda to find that Lech Walesa, erstwhile president of Poland (1990-1995), was on flute, Garth Crooks, former Spurs footballer and now BBC football reporter, was playing bass guitar, and the drummer was Ray French, the rugby league commentator. Lech was definitely the star, though, as he also demonstrated his abilities on guitar and saxophone.
Who was that in the queue behind me at Málaga airport in 2008? A Rick Wakeman lookalike. Whoops! No, it actually was him. Rick was the keyboard player in the progrock group Yes! back in the 1970s.
In 2009 we came across a guy cooking a massive paella in the village of Benaoján. Funny – he looked just like Jamie Oliver – well, that’s cos he was!
It’s a while since I’ve seen anyone else famous, dead or alive, down here in Andalucía, although I see Leonid and Robert from time to time to pass the time of day. It must be the recession keeping others away – or the anti-smoking laws!