Streaker impersonator dupes radio station
Expat Kiwi Wati Holmwood isn't alone in being left red-faced by his nude run during the State of Origin decider in Sydney - a New Zealand radio network is as well, after being duped by a prankster who successfully impersonated the streaker.
Radio Live today pulled audio of its "exclusive" interview with Holmwood, when it emerged host Duncan Garner had been speaking to one of three Australian brothers who set up a Facebook page in recognition of the former Nelson man's scene-stealing antics at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.
Brothers Moe, Mouss and Ali Mourad, the self-proclaimed "Kings of Trolling" have claimed responsibility for the Radio Live prank after a Sydney radio station revealed them as impostors.
They told Fairfax Media - who also published quotes by "Holmwood" from the radio interview - the "Wati Streaker Holmwood" profile was established "just for the sake of potentially getting a good fan base".
Then, as interview requests from radio and television stations were lodged through the profile, they decided to play along.
"I ... kept things genuine then all of a sudden I got a few mainstream radio stations from Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington asking me if I'd like to do live interviews on their stations," Mouss Mourad confessed.
"I did it because it really was the fun of it."
Garner's producer, Mark Wilson, left a message on the page seeking contact, and heard from Mouss Mourad.
Wilson said he was mortified to learn he had not been speaking to Holmwood, who has become an internet sensation after his dash.
"I got in touch with him, we had a bit of a chat," he said.
"You have discussion with somebody and it's happened ...
"We're just kind of going 'holy hell, you know'," he added before the audio, promoted with a photo of Garner's head superimposed on a photo of Holmwood's body, was disabled.
Garner initially spoke to one of the brothers for about 90 seconds before the line cut off. He then re-established contact and the conversation continued for another 2-1/2 minutes.
During the interview "Holmwood" said he streaked because: "The game was boring and I wanted to spice things up to be honest with you."
He said he planned to repeat it again at next year's football World Cup in Brazil, and appealed for donations so he could clear a A$5500 (NZ$6400) fine.
The genuine Holmwood, fined for streaking during the New Zealand Warriors' NRL semifinal with Wests Tigers at the Sydney Football Stadium in 2011, was apologetic after he was released by police on Wednesday night - and has not had a change of heart.
Sydney-based Triple M radio hosts Matty Johns, MG and Gus became suspicious of a man claiming to be Wati Holmwood when he couldn't name his uncle, who Triple M had also interviewed.
The brothers weren't the only ones to show their appreciation for Holmwood this week.
Dozens of made-up photos have circulated on the internet since the 88th-minute streak. A Facebook page for the "Origin streaker" has almost 90,000 fans.
Holmwood was charged with wilful and obscene exposure, and entering or remaining on a playing field without authorisation.
He is due in court on August 6 and been given a lifetime ban on all events at ANZ Stadium and all rugby league matches.