The Hermit was a hoax? Time to meet the Author then

Undoubtedly this is the hoax of the year, but as The Tab reveals the face behind it all, should we be singing his praises or sharpening the pitch forks?


It turns out the UoB Library Hermit was having us all on the entire time, so should we be readying the flaming torches or just applauding his brilliance? 

When I logged into Facebook yesterday, I expected to see the latest influx of stupid animal pictures, or scantly clad girls (and boys) posing after a good night out.

But instead I was left red-faced, feeling like a moron when I read the Hermit’s final post.

And believe me, ‘fictional character’ were not the first two words that came spewing out of my mouth when I read the initials “FC”.

I’m the first to admit it: I fell for the entire thing hook, line and… well stinker. But then again so did 16,000 other students, all of whom actually believed that somebody was capable of rising to such an arduous challenge.

Hundreds of students took to the Twittersphere when the news broke

Hundreds of students took to the Twittersphere when the news broke

Even though several Tab writers had serious reservations over his authenticity, I ploughed on undeterred, talking to, and writing about a person that doesn’t actually exist- I even personally reassured editors at a host of national papers that he was legit.

So I think it’s fair to say that if anyone should now be feeling butt-hurt, reaching for the trousers perched firmly around the ankle-line, I’m afraid it would have to be me.

But strangely enough, I’m not feeling like a sour lemon, and here’s why:

A work of genius:

My initial reaction was to shout expletives at my laptop screen, hire myself a hermit hitman and reflect on what a complete tool I’d been made to look.

But after my immediate hatred for the “FC” that had strung me along for 6 weeks, the rage subsided and it soon dawned on me that the guy behind the “Hermit” should actually be commended for his audacity.

If you look past the initial disappointment, you have to admit that the page is a work of genius.

All things considered, the Hermit was never going to pass his degree. He was faced with an impossible challenge and without a £30,000 cheque of motivation, I doubt any student would have the determination to live in a library.

Says the person who failed his degree..

Says the person who failed his degree..

Faced with imminent failure, most students would crumble and accept the worst- but the Hermit didn’t- he thought pragmatically.

When it comes to thinking outside the box, the Hermit is the perfect example of why a University degree is only desirable, and not quintessential.

By creating the page he showed a rare case of ingenuity that few people would have the will power or daring to attempt.

His page has not only served as a great source of procrastination to over 16,000 students, but a social platform with which to showcase his creative talents, and clearly this has worked to great effect.

Instead of leaving university dejected and a job at McDonalds beckoning, he now leaves as a comical and popular student, with real career opportunities.

this could have post-uni reality

This could have been post-uni reality

At times he has shown a class of satire and wit that has left us all in stitches, and his flair for creative writing has rightly not gone unnoticed.

You heard it from the Hermit’s mouth: he’s signed contracts to write a column and regularly contribute to a ‘popular men’s magazine’ (which means he will be featuring in Nuts). And he deserves it – his posts were highly entertaining and well written.

Hoax or no hoax, the person behind the Hermit has turned a pretty dire situation onto a path with real opportunities, and that in its self is to be admired.

People may begrudge him given that the content is made up, but does that really matter?

Yes the fact that the challenge is a hoax is disappointing, and yes it would have been good if he’d actually had a rummage of his best-friend’s sister’s tits in the disabled toilets, but you still enjoyed the posts all the same, the comic value they provided shouldn’t been disparaged.

And so it was never meant to be..

It just wasn’t meant to be..

Many people have had a pop at him along the way, with the unsurprising ‘sexist’ and ‘misogynistic’ drivel coming from the usual crowd. And it’s likely that accusations are going to start flying around again now people have found out he faked it all.

Yes it probably is creepy flirting with girls through a fake persona, and maybe telling the feminists to “blow me” was stoking the fire too much, but the majority of us saw the humorous reality behind it all.

Put it in perspective: I see it like Jay from the Inbetweeners, on holiday in Malia. Yes he makes up lies to sleep with girls, but that doesn’t mean the guy behind the façade isn’t a decent person, perhaps just unconfident, or insecure.

Boys will be boys- he’s not a chauvinistic pig.

Even the Hermit caved to the feminists

Even the Hermit caved to the feminists

And people shouldn’t be disheartened simply because the challenge was a sham.

Although actually completing six weeks in the library would have been a better ‘collective representation’ of the student struggle, we shouldn’t completely denounce the ‘inspirational’ message behind it all.

He may not have “lived, breathed and shit” in the Library, but if nothing else, the Hermit has shown that University qualifications are not the be-all and end-all that they are so often made out to be. There are clearly other pathways to success.

Perhaps most importantly however, the Hermit should be credited for what is undoubtedly the greatest student practical joke of all time.

He didn’t just provide comic entertainment during the most stressful period of the year, he also had the intellect and stamina to persist with a practical joke undertaken on an unprecedented scale.

The hat has to be taken off to him, it must have taken real effort and tenacity to firstly devise the character, and then continue with a 6-week rendition, day in, day out.

He not only left 16,000 students stumped, he fooled the national press  and the University, only to deliver the best slap-in-the-face twist at the final hurdle. And for that alone he deserves all the plaudits coming his way.

Some may call it an anticlimax, most would call it brilliance.

It got too much for some people

It got too much for some people

So… Meet the Hermit:

Unfortunately though Hermit, The Tab can always go one better when it comes to a plot twist. You may have caught us with our pants down, but we’ve been looking up your skirt the entire time.

It’s now obvious as to why you were able to remain anonymous for so long, however you made a fatal flaw the day you agreed to an interview (journalists always take pictures).

I’m not going to name him, but we promised to reveal the Hermit at the end of it all, and although he may have been a fictional character, “the author” is definitely legit.

So whether you’re a lover or a loather, here is the face behind the façade:

Sorry Hermit you got lapped

Sorry Hermit: you’ve been papped

The Hermit enjoying his newfound adoration

The Hermit enjoying Fab with his fanclub

Granted, some of you will never forgive the counterfeit reality to your otherwise perfect ending.

In the end it turns out he wasn’t the real Heinz, just your average bottle of Aldi Ketchup.

But who cares? I’d still squirt him all over my chips.

Cheers Hermit, it’s been a pleasure.