So I was talking to a middle-aged Jewish man here in Frankfurt very proud to have the surname Goldschmidt. A very old and prestigious family, apparently. I thought he looked slightly familiar.

On learning that I was from Britain, he asked me, bizarrely, if I was related to “the Marks family”. I explained that there were many families in Britain with the name Marks. Any one in particular?

“Oh, I was just wondered if you were related to Groucho Marx.” I realised why he looked familiar. He was himself a (fairly distant) relative of the moustached comedian. I tried to avoid expressing amusement.

But why on earth did he think I might be Groucho Marx’s nephew?

*Those unfamiliar with this Blairite reference should look here (about halfway down).

Cherwell 24 is not responsible for the content of external links