THE BLOG
03/02/2016 10:33 GMT | Updated 03/02/2017 05:12 GMT

Why Would Any Sane Person Want to Take the Lord Lucan Title?

As of this morning, Lucky Lord Lucan has been deemed to be properly, totally, utterly and OFFICIALLY dead, and his son and heir may now lawfully take the title that has been a full 41 years in the waiting to become - drumroll please! - The 8th Earl of Lucan. What a magnificent title - and what a weight of history there is behind it!

But I do rather wonder why any sane person would want to become The Earl of Lucan. The problem with the name 'Lord Lucan' is that it's just about one of the most infamous names in Britain; in fact it's more than just infamous, it has become a standing joke. On Spitting Image, the Lord Lucan puppet was a regular staple, and I can vividly remember a sketch which had him riding Shergar, the kidnapped race-horse.

Lucan's son George Bingham, 48, brought about this latest case, under the Presumption of Death Act, in order to give his family 'closure'.

However... since George has just married the Danish heiress Anne-Sofie Foghsgaard, one does speculate whether she might be the driving force behind this whole court case.

After all - who wouldn't fancy marrying an Earl and becoming a Countess and then having children that were themselves Lord and Ladies?

I also wonder whether George and Anne-Sofie have appreciated the sheer volume of funny looks that they'll be getting when they pop down to the shops. Or are introduced to strangers at a party. Or book a table at a restaurant.

"Oh could I book a table for two please - under the name of Lord Lucan?" That'll have the waiters' eyes popping out when they arrive at their local Indian for a Valentine's Day dinner.

And that's just the start of it. The main problem that George and his lovely new bride will face is that whatever they do - literally, whatever they do - it will always be seen through the prism of George's crazy old dad murdering the nanny.

When Anne-Sofie has their first child, the second paragraph of the news story will read something like, "grandson of Britain's most notorious fugitive Lucky Lord Lucan". By taking on the "Lord Lucan" title, George is flagging up his rather tainted pedigree.

And as for giving him closure... Well though Lucan may now be officially dead, we're still a long way from shutting up the frivolous speculations of the media and the great unwashed British public.

The story is absolutely fascinating! It is the greatest mystery of the 20th Century - this rich, good-looking Earl murders his nanny and then disappears off the face of the earth.

We have spent the last four decades wondering just what the hell happened to him. I would hazard that this speculation is not going to be stopping any time soon.

Even this week, one of the most extraordinary Lord Lucan theories got another airing as one of the Earl's old pals came out of the woodwork. He suggested that Lucan had sought refuge with the multi-millionaire rogue John Aspinall. Aspinall told Lucan to do the decent thing and kill himself - which Lucan then did, blowing his brains out with a pistol before being fed to Zorra, Aspinall's favourite tiger.

Though personally... I have a sneaking suspicion that Lucan might have got away with it. We have some clues, very small clues, which indicate that he made it out to Africa. There are a couple of witnesses who saw him flying out of England on a private plane; plus we have Lucan's watch turning up in a pawnbrokers in South Africa.

These escape theories seem to have much more heft than the proposition that he killed himself, which is based on one fact and one fact alone: Lucan hasn't been seen or heard of in 41 years. So it's anyone's guess what happened to Lucan - that's why this is such an alluring mystery.

But I rather fancy that if Lucan's son genuinely wants 'closure', he'd be better off sticking with the name George Bingham.