HAVE you heard the one about the Beckhams coming to Cameron House?

If you have, it goes something like this: a friend of a friend of someone’s niece was due to tie the knot at the exclusive Loch Lomond venue.

Then the bride gets a phone call. Cameron House asks if she can shift the wedding date – no explanation given. The bride says no. Days later Cameron House calls again. “We have a client who is very keen to hire the venue on that weekend,” says the receptionist. “The client is offering to cover the cost of your wedding if you would change the date.”

Again, the bride refuses: she has relatives flying in from overseas. The following day, the phone rings again. Cameron House’s top-secret client is offering to cover the cost of the wedding, the honeymoon, and to pay for their relatives flights to Scotland.

Perhaps surprisingly the bride declines again. “Everyone has booked time off work – it’s too short notice.”

Then the comes the pièce de résistance. “Do you have a mortgage?” asks the receptionist in a final phonecall. “Our client is willing to pay it off.” Deal done.

“Wait until you hear this though,” says the storyteller. “The cheque came in the post last week for £260,000 – signed by Victoria Beckham.”

It seems almost plausible at first – so plausible that a spokeswoman for Cameron House told the Sunday Herald it has been “inundated with calls” from journalists trying to verify the tale after it began spreading, apparently sparked by the birth of the Beckham’s daughter, Harper, in July and rumours the multimillionaires wanted to host her christening party on the banks of Loch Lomond.

“It’s absolutely not true,” said a spokeswoman for the hotel.

In fact, the story is nothing more than a Scottish incarnation of a long-running urban legend.

The same story has done the rounds in half a dozen locations, each bearing that urban legend hallmark of happening to a “friend of a friend.” Sometimes it dates back to the Beckhams’ wedding, other times it’s a christening party.

A blogger from Paisley wrote in February 2008 that the lucky recipient of the Beckhams’ cheque was “a guy who works with my Mrs’s pal”.

In one version the Beckhams paid off a couple’s mortgage so they could hire Alnwick Castle in Northumberland for a kids’ birthday party; another has them buying up Alton Towers for the day.

In 2002, The Scotsman even carried the tale of a unnamed woman who said she and her fiancé had been paid £200,000 to reschedule their wedding at one of London’s top hotels to pave the way for a christening party for the Beckham’s son, Romeo.

The myth appears to have been triggered when the celebrity couple wed in 1999 amid rumours that they paid off another couple to get a venue for themselves.

So, if someone asks you whether you’ve heard the one about the Beckhams, just file it alongside killer clowns and alligators in the sewer. Unless they name the bride or groom.