TNB Night Owl – Paul Yarrow

News Media Standards. Image by Sollok29.

Typically, the only way people who are overweight, balding, and middle-aged get onto television is if they’re comedians, politicians or character actors. Paul Yarrow was none of those, but between 2009 and 2012, he made regular appearances on British television, racking up more than 100 broadcasts.

Specifically, he photobombed.

Yarrow, living in London, had been on site for a few newsworthy events and had expected to be questioned about his experiences for them. It never happened. Reporters would instead seek out the most photogenic person available at the scene for questioning, even if they’d been far less involved.

Yarrow thought about it and developed a suspicion that it was intentional. News reporters were avoiding him because he wasn’t telegenic. At the next opportunity, he spoke with one of the camerapeople and had his suspicion confirmed.

This struck him as wrong. Yarrow decided to do his part to demonstrate to the viewing audience that there are normal people in the world, and he started photobombing. Not in the usual way of attempting to draw attention to oneself amidst a news story, but simply wandering into the background of the shot. Often he would be carrying a small grocery bag and speaking into a phone… not demanding attention, simply present.

Eventually word started to spread. He even developed a nickname, The News Raider. All was going well until he was the focus of a television segment on a popular British show.

Suddenly he was the focus of attention… which, unlike most photobombers, was the last thing he wanted. In 2012, shortly after his time in the spotlight, he stopped photobombing entirely

Still, he’s remembered fondly. An interview for the documentary project 1000 Londoners caught up with him in 2018 to speak with him:

If you’re curious about what his efforts looked like, here are two compilations from some of his appearances, the first providing three full actions and the second with stills from more than thirty of his actions:

Question of the night: On what television program would you most want to have (had) an appearance?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.