From Russia with 'love': man convinces catfish he is really Ant McPartlin

After meeting an attractive Russian suitor online, a Surbiton man realised it might be too good to be true.

Will Burton, a 26-year-old who works in communications, began a month-long correspondence with a person calling themselves Ekaterina after she “winked” at him on dating website

He said: “I was pretty excited, but realised it was a catfish pretty much straight away.”

A catfish is a person who pretends to be someone else in order to begin a relationship online. Will decided to have some fun with “Ekaterina”, who claimed to work in a toy shop called “The World of Children” in the Russian city of Vladimir.

In the ensuing month he claimed, among other things, to live in C***ington, B***ershire, that he worked as a “sheep tickler”, and posted pictures of Ant McPartlin, telling Ekaterina they were of him.

Ekaterina’s first message explained that her Match profile was expiring, so the pair should use email to talk. She gave Will her age, as well as her exact height and weight, and asked him what he enjoyed doing.

He replied with a picture of Ant with presenting partner Declan Donnelly, claiming it was him and his friend Joe, who he described as vice president of activities at Bournemouth University – “a very desirable man indeed”.

Seemingly unphased by talking to one of the highest-paid presenters on UK television, Ekaterina thanked him for the photograph.

Will finally revealed his true identity – or rather, told Ekaterina he was not Ant McPartlin – after more back-and-forth. He recorded a video and posted it on Youtube, in which he reads a poem explaining everything and calls Ekaterina his “favourite little Russian catfish”.

She did not respond.

Will’s full account can be found at


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