I know I bear an uncanny resemblance to at least two people I've never met. Or it might be the same person.
The first time I was made aware of this was in an obscure south London pub a few years ago. A bloke approached our small group with great familiarity but it was my shoulder he squeezed and me he greeted with a grinning "Allright, mate; how's it going"
"Um, very well, thank you" I replied with creased brow, suspecting some upcoming request for money 'for a cup of tea'. A few more words were exchanged.
"It is you" he declared. "You work behind the jump at the Old Donkey".
"Um, no, I'm sorry. You've mistaken me for someone else." He was clearly unconvinced, and getting angry that I was perpetrating an unreasonable joke on him.
The second time was on a train to Lewes. A couple in their sixties in the seats opposite whispered and then smiled and nodded at me in a way that said unmistakeably 'we know who you are'. They didn't look as if they would frequent the Old Donkey, wherever that was. I smiled back. The Mrs ventured "Are you going to do any more adverts?".
There was nothing I could say that would convince them I wasn't an actor who was currently appearing in a TV advert. It would have been easier for me to admit that, yes, it was me, and that my agent had a few things lined up. It would have made them happy. My refusal to admit any relation to the person they were convinced I was irritated them. I think the phrase 'Too good for the likes of us" was murmured and the time between East Croydon and Lewes passed in a glacial agony of avoided glances.
Perhaps my south London barman had turned to acting. Or perhaps he was already an actor just doing bar work. Or perhaps it was two different people. Who knows.
Are machines any better at facial recognition than human beings? The roll-out of FRT to every high street CCTV camera will be here by the end of the decade.
I can only hope the acting / barkeep business continues to pay well, and that my doppelgänger never feels the need to turn to bank robbery.