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Apple iPad Regent Street launch: Apple fans, PR shams and Stephen Fry

We headed to London's Regent Street to see the first punters emerging with their prized iPads. But we quickly discovered the Apple fans had been infiltrated...

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Richard Trenholm
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The iPad finally hits UK stores today. Crave elbowed its way to the front of the paparazzi pit to capture the action at the flagship Regent Street Apple Store. Apple fans had queued overnight ready for the 8am opening, when they were greeted by ecstatic Apple staff, Apple devotee Stephen Fry, and the massed ranks of the nation's media.

The story everyone was chasing was of the dedicated fans who simply couldn't wait to get their hands on the holy gadgety grail. The quirkier the fan, the better the story. But is that what was really happening?

Here's a fun game to play as you look at our photos: it's called 'Punter or Plant?' For each person you see pictured emerging from an Apple Store clutching their prize, simply guess whether they're a genuine Apple fanboy punter or a despicable headline-grabber planted by companies scrabbling for a moment in the reflected PR spotlight.

Eyes down: let's play Punter or Plant. Pictured above are a couple who look as if they're heading from the Apple Store straight up the aisle. Punters or Plants? These very tall Plants are 6ft 5.5-inch Keisha Bolton and 6ft 9.75-inch Wilco van Kleef, who actually married in 2001. They're the world's tallest married couple, and brought with them an entourage of Guinness World Record staff to promote a record-recording iPad app (iTunes link).

Click 'Continue' to see more of the fun from Regent Street, and more thrilling rounds of Punter or Plant?

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Apple Store staff prepare for the opening with chants of "iPad! iPad!"
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The queue stretched round the corner down Hanover Street.
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National treasure Stephen Fry arrives at the store.
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Fry is rapturously greeted by the Apple faithful as the godhead he is.
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Massed ranks of photographers and television crews thronged Regent Street.
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Although he was second in the queue, this chap was the first to emerge. His name's Ian and he's not that keen on smiling. Punter or plant?
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This is Emma. Punter or plant? (Her t-shirt says 'My lifestyle PA'.)
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17-year-old Jake Lee from Essex queued since the middle of yesterday. Pictures of him taken yesterday show him wearing a plain shirt, yet this morning when he emerged to the massed ranks of the national press, he was wearing a t-shirt promoting Any Question Answered. Punter or plant?

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