Didier Baptiste

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Didier Baptiste was a fictional football player who appeared in Season 3 and 4 of the British Sky One drama Dream Team, about the equally fictitious Harchester United. He was played by Sacha Grunpeter (credited as Tom Redhill),[1] who died in 2005.[2] According to the character's backstory, Baptiste was signed from AS Monaco in October 1999.[3]

After 44 appearances and 5 goals, in November 2000 the character was shown leaving the club in disgrace (he was transferred to Olympique de Marseille[4]) after he attempted to fix a vital game at the end of the season. Harchester were facing relegation and he deliberately missed a last-minute penalty, but the club still managed to stay up.[5]

Didier's estranged wife, Victoria Baptiste, was played by Sarah Matravers; the character of Victoria remained in Dream Team long after Grunpeter departed the show.[6]

Hoax[edit]

In the real world, in November 1999 both The News of The World and The Times were duped into printing an "exclusive" stating that Liverpool were keen on signing the Frenchman for £3.5m.[7] The hoax stemmed from a story invented by Arsenal fan site, ArsenalShorts, which was then picked up by various sports websites.[8][9] The Guardian was also duped into printing the rumour, although they only valued Baptiste at £1m.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sacha Grunpeter, IMDB
  2. ^ Obituaries - Jewish Journal
  3. ^ Harchester United - Season 3 statistics, Dream Team official website, Sky
  4. ^ Harchester United - Season 4 statistics, Dream Team official website, Sky
  5. ^ Recap of Series 4 Episode 1, TV.com
  6. ^ Victoria Baptiste played by Sarah Matravers, Dream Team official website, Sky
  7. ^ The football scam, BBC.co.uk, 15 January 2001
  8. ^ Paper links Liverpool to player who doesn't exist, The Independent, 24 November 1999
  9. ^ Fantasy Football, The Daily Mirror, November 25, 1999
  10. ^ The Fiver, The Guardian, 17 November 1999