Widow insists dead spouse is in Indian restaurant Spic Cottage's video

EXCLUSIVE ‘There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s my husband’: Mystery continues as widow insists her spouse is eating chicken korma in Indian restaurant’s new promo video – despite him being dead for nine years

  • Lucy Watson insisted the man was her husband, music journalist Harry Doherty
  • Mr Doherty died from cirrhosis of the liver in 2014 following years of drinking

The extraordinary row over an Indian restaurant’s promotional video deepened today as a widow insisted the clip featured her husband eating his favourite chicken korma – even though he has been dead for nine years.

Lucy Watson unwittingly cooked up a storm on the internet after posting that the footage showed late husband Harry Doherty eating with his son Alex at the Spice Cottage near her home in Emsworth, West Sussex.

The posting on the restaurant’s Facebook page sparked a flood of messages from social media users who bombarded the site with theories about the bizarre mystery.

Some compared the sighting with the case of Canoe man John Darwin who faked his own death in a life insurance scam.

Restaurant bosses are sticking to their guns and insist the footage, which was posted on January 16, was taken just days earlier.

The extraordinary row over an Indian restaurant’s promotional video deepened today as a widow insisted the clip featured her husband eating his favourite chicken korma – even though he has been dead for nine years. Lucy Watson unwittingly cooked up a storm on the internet after posting that the footage showed late husband Harry Doherty (pictured with his wife) eating with his son Alex at the Spice Cottage near her home in Emsworth, West Sussex 

But now Ms Watson, 59, has come forward to dismiss the ‘ridiculous conspiracy theories’ surrounding her posting and reveal the identity of her ‘instantly recognisable’ husband – who was an award-winning journalist and a popular larger than life character in the local area.

Father-of-three Mr Doherty, who was born in Northern Ireland, won accolades for his coverage of the Troubles before moving to England where he relaunched his career as a music journalist, working for the now-defunct magazine Melody Maker.

He went on to found his own rock magazine and become a friend of Queen guitarist Brian May after writing an official book on the band.

May sent floral tributes to the rock writer’s funeral after he sadly died from cirrhosis of the liver in April 2014 following years of heavy drinking.

Ms Watson, 59, has come forward to dismiss the ‘ridiculous conspiracy theories’ surrounding her posting and reveal the identity of her ‘instantly recognisable’ husband – who was an award-winning journalist and a popular larger than life character in the local area

The video was posted to the venue’s Facebook page, where Ms Watson commented: ‘How old is the footage? My late husband and his son are on the first shot and he died in 2014??’ A reply from the restaurant said: ‘Hi Lucy, sorry to hear this. This footage was recorded last week’

Lucy told how she was shocked at the viral response to her comment after she watched the video where diners can be seen tucking into meals as waiters attend to customers.

It ends with a round of applause for the staff.

After Ms Watson asked how old the video was, a reply from the restaurant, which is near the market town of Chichester, said: ‘Hi Lucy, sorry to hear this. This footage was recorded last week.’

Ms Watson told MailOnline: ‘I don’t really use Facebook apart from snooping on friends or catching up with people.

‘I was scrolling through and the video popped up.

‘The moment I saw the thing I thought ‘Oh my God – that’s Harry.’ It was so instant. I didn’t even have to think.

‘He’d be eating a chicken korma because that’s all he ever ate.’

‘There was no doubt in my mind it was my husband. I couldn’t pause the thing so I had to replay it about 30 times and each time I was surer and surer.

Father-of-three Mr Doherty, who was born in Northern Ireland, won accolades for his coverage of the Troubles before moving to England where he relaunched his career as a music journalist, working for the now-defunct magazine Melody Maker

‘Harry was a big, distinctive man. He has white hair. His build and his glasses are distinctive. I recognised the blue sweatshirt he was wearing and he is sitting there with his son Alex.

‘I just thought “That’s an old video”. I posted asking how old the footage was.

‘I was only asking out of interest – then it all went crazy.

‘It annoyed me when they sent a message back saying it was filmed last week. It can’t have been.

‘They are never busy like that any more, that’s the problem. They have obviously posted this to generate customers because they are really up against it now.

‘There’s a newish Indian restaurant that’s trying to get a Michelin star. There’s an old fashioned one which I go to which is a nice cheap one and another one that’s very trendy.

‘They just don’t get that many people in there anymore. I think they’ve picked and chosen out of various videos. I’m sure it’s a montage.

‘It’s the only explanation I can think of.

‘I’m totally bemused by the response. I don’t understand how people have picked it up in this way to be quite honest and there’s all these crazy theories.

‘Harry died in 2014 – there’s absolutely no doubt about that.

‘He was seriously ill in hospital for the last few months. They were going to do a liver transplant but he didn’t make it. 

‘He was as skinny as anything before he died so the video must have been taken some months before that.’

Mr Doherty was Lucy’s second husband and she says she has lost touch with his son Alex, 39, since his father’s death.

Last night, Rofiqul Islam, the manager of Spice Cottage insisted the footage was shot two weeks ago

Among hundreds of postings to Lucy’s post one said: ‘Lucy Watson we need an update! Was his body ever found, or just a canoe?’

Another Facebook user wrote: ‘He wasn’t dead. He was just in a korma.’

A third said: ‘I was there on this day and the flat bread that I ordered arrived after our main course, it was my late naan.’

Another added: ‘What a saaga!’

Last night, Rofiqul Islam, the manager of Spice Cottage insisted the footage was shot two weeks ago.

He said the restaurant looked different in 2014 and insisted tables shown in the video were delivered just days before it was uploaded.

He said: ‘We have new tables and they are in the video. It’s quite an unusual situation.’

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