Mahmood incites 235th celebrity crime

Champion undercover crime-monger and part-time journalist Mazher Mahmood is today celebrating his 235th celebrity scalp, after felling former boxing champion Joe Calzaghe by cunningly disguising himself as a cardboard box.

Mahmood’s notorious character, the so-called “Hoax Box” has fooled numerous celebrity figures over the years, prompting many of them to divulge their innermost and often criminal secrets. Mahmood’s box has even managed to tempt drunken and vulnerable celebrities to partaking in illegal activities they would hitherto not have considered.

“Calzaghe was a soft target,” admitted Mahmood yesterday. “He was already half-cut by the time I’d managed to fold the flaps down so that I could get in the door of the main bar area. That, and the fact that he’s obviously quite depressed due to his recent retirement from a sport which formed the basis of his entire life for the best part of 20 years. He was a pushover – I’d barely shuffled over to the lounge area and he immediately ambushed me, pouring out his heart about how empty his life was since he quit boxing. I told him there was nothing wrong with feeling like that, and that a lot of boxes often felt empty, too. I ordered him a few more drinks from the bar and listened intently as he admitted he needed something to “fill the void” in his life which would get his “adrenaline pumping”.

“I told him I had just the thing, and proceeded to reach through a hole in the side of my box and pour out a small portion of talcum powder across my lid. I then brought my other arm out to assist in forming the powder into a neat line. He looked puzzled and asked me why, if I was a box, did I have two arms? Quick-as-a-flash, I replied that I was a special magic box and that the powder would help him to feel happier. ‘If only there were some kind of way I could get that into my body’, he pondered. He needn’t have worried, though, as I immediately passed him a rolled-up banknote to enable him to take in the special powder. Little did he know I had a pap filming the entire thing, which I then used to force him into issuing a humiliating public confession, worded by the News Of The World.”

Mahmood has forged a career through a series of hilarious pranks, which have fooled many household names from showbusiness through to the royal family. His disguises often range from the absurd to the ridiculous, but one thing’s assured – Mahmood always gets his man (or woman). “I once bought a Sheik outfit from a fancy dress shop a few years back for a fiver. It was a really tacky appropriation of traditional Arabic clothing, and nothing like anything an Arabic man would actually ever wear, but I figured most people aren’t culturally aware enough to notice. I even bought a joke beard to go with it, which used to itch like crazy. I remember it slid down when I used it on Sven Goran Eriksson, but he didn’t bat an eyelid, even when I removed it entirely after the elastic snapped.

“My favourite, though, was when I dressed up as Scooby Doo to catch out Phil Mitchell from Eastenders. I figured it was apt, seeing as he was meant to be into dogging and all. Anyway, Phil had been at the bar all day – not surprising, seeing as his character is an alkie. By the time I strolled in on all-fours panting, he was too pissed to determine whether I was real or not and proceeded to tell me about how he bashed one off whilst watching a tranny through the window of a van during a holiday in France. I managed to record the whole thing on camcorder, too, and yep, you guessed it, took it straight into the News Of The World the very next morning. Screwed him out of £20,000 with that little beauty – let’s just say it was an Eastenders Christmas special which won’t be seeing the light of day anytime soon.”

Upon learning that he hadn’t, in fact, been speaking to an American cowboy, but an undercover reporter wearing a hat and an ill-fitting moustache, Mr. Mahmood replied: “Oh fuck…”

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