Page last updated at 18:25 GMT, Friday, 26 September 2003 19:25 UK

Escaped Briton steps into spotlight

By Mick McGann
BBC News Online at Heathrow Airport

For someone who has been through the kind of ordeal one would normally expect to see in an Indiana Jones film, Matthew Scott appeared remarkably relaxed.

Flanked by his very relieved looking parents, younger brother Ned, 17, and 13-year-old sister Molly, he seemed almost embarrassed to be at the centre of so much attention.

Matthew Scott appeared calm in front of the cameras
Matthew Scott appeared calm in front of the cameras
But he was far from overawed by the occasion, not surprisingly perhaps for a young man who has risked his life to break free from his armed captors.

Dressed in baggy faded jeans and a loose-fitting white T-shirt, he looked in relatively good health for someone who wandered alone in the jungle for almost a fortnight.

But next to his younger brother he did appear somewhat gaunt and underweight, and he nibbled at a large piece of chocolate cake throughout.

Close family

The closeness of the Scott family was all too clear when they were asked to pose for the massed ranks of photographers, mother and father taking it in turns to embrace their son-turned-intrepid hero.

No doubt eager to get back to his own bed at home in Clapham, south London, he didn't hang around after addressing the small room in Terminal 4 at Heathrow Airport.

One reporter managed to ask Matthew's father if he thought his son was looking well.

"Yes, I think he looks very well," said Mr Scott, adding mischievously, "and I think I look well too."

Press conference
The story has generated media interest across the world
But reporters had been told not to ask questions and another got no answer when she asked Matthew if he was still planning to go to Oxford University.

As he got to his feet, he was approached by his brother Ned, who gave him a reassuring pat on the shoulder.

It is doubtful Matthew ever thought being in the glare of the media spotlight was going to be a huge ordeal.

After escaping armed kidnappers and surviving on your wits alone in the jungle, this was always going to be a stroll in the park by comparison.

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