Spending spree with a difference

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The Independent Culture
Who needs a shooter and a stocking over their head? Certainly not Rosemary Aberdour, who nicked almost pounds 3m from a charity fund, lied to cover her tracks and brought a hospital to the brink of closure but is still - thanks to logic which Virginia Bottomley may not appreciate - deemed worthy of an almost adulatory half-hour on BBC1.

The very title Scam! (8.20pm BBC1) implies stealing from washing lines rather than theft on a grand scale. But then "Lady" Rosemary, a fake aristo from Essex, did go about the business of stealing - and spending - with unusual style.

A flat in Kensington next door to Brigitte Nielsen, jewellery, holidays, a Caribbean theme party costing pounds 60,000 with live lobsters in the bath and champagne plumbed into the shower. The sums are outrageous, and so too the ineptitude of those who let her get away with it for three years. Left in charge of a fund which needed just her signature on cheques, donations were spent almost as soon as they arrived, but no one seemed to notice. And if anyone did start to wonder, cover stories were provided with a quick-witted cheek which can only be admired: when a bank questioned a dodgy forgery of her boss's signature, she claimed that he suffered from Parkinson's Disease.

Watch and wonder - not least that, even in these "classless" days, with a title and some flannel you can get away with daylight robbery.