Dr Mumbo

The curious case of the Campbells of Campbelltown and the Tele’s wedding dress exclusive

Journalist David Campbell (left) was in the wedding party at Dan Campbell's wedding last month. Image: Facebook

Journalist David Campbell (left) was in the wedding party at Dan Campbell’s wedding last month. Image: Facebook

An “exclusive” story which appeared in Daily Telegraph about a Sydney man selling a jilted friend’s ex-wife’s wedding dress is an even more intriguing web of relationships than it first appears.

Dr Mumbo has been following the yarn, about a man who posted a pretty disparaging ad for his ‘cheating’ ex-wife’s wedding dress on Gumtree after she slept with his best friend, which first appeared on Monday on the Tele’s website, citing a man named only as “Dan” who was a friend of the jilted husband. Interestingly the Tele chose to blur out his face and left out his last name. When asked, the Tele’s head of news Steve Jackson said they had done this for “legal reasons”.

But Dr Mumbo’s interest was piqued when he noticed other outlets, including the Daily Mail Australia, had followed up the same story, and used Dan’s full name, Dan Campbell, and also not blurred his picture out. Could it be no-one else was worried about the potential legal ramifications?

Then he noticed Dan’s surname was the same as the journalist who wrote the Tele exclusive, David Campbell. Could it be a coincidence?

So, he rang Dan Campbell to ask if he had any connection with David. At first Dan said  “ahh, not really, no”, then when asked if there was a relation he replied  “maybe”. Fearful his line of questioning was too obtuse Dr Mumbo pressed: “You are not connected in any way, not at all?”, to which Dan replied: “I’m not sure, nah not sure – could be”.

When asked if he remembered being interviewed by David Campbell for the story Dan said: “Oh I got interviewed by a bunch of people over the last couple of days mate, I’ve go no idea who I have spoken to to be honest, I don’t remember their names.”

By now Dr Mumbo was in a state of total confusion, so he turned to that source of all answers, Facebook, and rapidly discovered the Tele’s David Campbell is Facebook friends with Dan Campbell.

The Campbell family according to a post on Facebook, David Campbell on far right, Dan Campbell in the centre.

“The Campbell family” according to a post on Facebook, David Campbell on far right, Dan Campbell in the centre.

He also noted the pair regularly interact on each other’s timelines, both are from Campbelltown, and David was a member of Dan’s bridal party at his wedding last month in images where they are labelled as “family”. What an amazing coincidence! (It should be noted Dan’s wedding is not believed to be the one which has since yielded the now infamous wedding dress of the story).

The Daily Telegraph’s head of news Steve Jackson told Dr Mumbo the paper was “aware of the relationship between the reporter and the source of the story” at the time of publication. 

He added: “The reporter immediately disclosed this to the news desk.”

But Dr Mumbo wonders why, on such an important news story, that connection was not disclosed to the paper’s readers.

But who is Dr Mumbo to judge who tells who what, when there is already so much confusion surrounding this story. After all if Dan can’t remember whether his good friend David interviewed him over it, then how should anyone else?

The Tele followed up with another story today featuring the new angle of infidelity website Ashley Madison attempting to buy the dress. The Tele lead chose this time to focus on the still unnamed and unidentified “jilted husband” who is selling the dress through Dan Campbell.

Dan’s surname was still withheld – presumably for the same “legal reasons” no one else bothered to worry about.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.