Ben Ealing, who won the coveted, "best job in the world" - caretaker of a sun-drenched island - has been sacked on only his second day, after he fell asleep on the job, and woke to find the tropical paradise had been stolen. 'I only had my eyes closed,' pleaded the disgraced Briton, whose previous caretaking experience has included building sites and a stint with the Royal Bank of Scotland. 'I wasn't asleep, not really.'
Australian authorities are asking for the public's help to find the thief. 'Someone must have seen or heard something,' says Sergeant Dingo, head of the Australian force investigating the disappearance. 'And someone must have information about where this island is now.'
Suspicion has fallen on some of the other 35,000 applicants for the job. 'Some of those guys were really pissed not to get the gig,' says 34 year old Ben. 'I know many of them wanted the island really badly, but no one could have guessed they'd stoop to these lengths to get it.'
But authorities are not wholly convinced by Ealing's explanation. 'Yeah, a guy can get unlucky,' shrugs Dingo, 'things can go missing. It's not as if it's the first island to be stolen or mislaid, and it won't be the last. Diego Garcia, for example, was pinched a few years back, but we know a well organised, highly armed gang was behind that theft. So we're not ruling out the possibility of an inside job.'
Do you know where Hamiton island is now? Has a suspicious looking tropical island turned up in your neighbourhood? Perhaps someone has tried to sell you one? If you have any information, please get in touch with Sergeant Dingo on Hamilton 4763.