The nanny named Sam: Melbourne backpacker cops it after landing plum job with British PM
You're hired ... British Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha, pictured with baby daughter Florence in 2010. Photo: Reuters
A young Melbourne backpacker working as a nanny for the British Prime Minister's children has come under fire in the British media, which has described her as a "drinking, smoking and 'shoplifting' Australian".
Sammi Strange, 24, had limited childcare experience when her resume was selected by a nanny agency and she was hired by Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha to look after their three children for a six-week stint.
But after the former Melbourne Girls Grammar student's high-profile role was revealed this week, her past online activity appears to have come back to bite her.
Plum job ... Melbourne backpacker Sammi Strange.
Britain's Daily Mail reports that Miss Strange had completed a survey on a social networking site in which she admitted to shoplifting, smoking and drinking, but denied taking drugs "in the past month".
Asked whether she ever swore, she replied: 'f*** yeah' and to whether she drank alcohol, she said: “hell yes”.
Miss Strange said she had smoked and, asked to declare the number of drugs she had taken, she replied: “no comment”.
The newspaper website has run the story under the headline: "'Do I like to swear? F*** yeah': Meet the drinking, smoking and 'shoplifting' Australian backpacker hired by SamCam as the No 10 nanny".
When contacted by The Age today, Miss Strange's father David — a former vice-president of St Kilda Football Club — initially said he was unaware of such "offensive" media coverage and said the newspaper's description did not sound like his daughter.
However he later said he did not want to make any comment out of respect for his daughter's employer.
A Downing Street spokeswoman told London's The Daily Telegraph that the online survey had been filled in “as a joke” several years ago.
Miss Strange registered with an au pair agency in Britain after quitting her job as a television advertising sales assistant at Channel Seven to go travelling.
She was shocked to learn she was being considered for a job with the Camerons, and impressed them in a series of Skype interviews.
Miss Strange has been employed on a temporary contract for about six weeks while the Camerons' long-term nanny, Gita Lama, is overseas, The Daily Telegraph reports.
In the online survey, Miss Strange reportedly said her first thought in the morning was that she did not want to get up, and that her top achievement would be to finish university that year without dropping out.
She said she wanted to be an events manager, ate a lot of sushi and would most like to visit Croatia. Her weakness was maths and her biggest fear was sharks.
The appointment also appears to have drawn ire from the British public, with Daily Mail readers lining up to give Miss Strange and Mr Cameron a kick.
"Don't we have any home-grown drug-using, foul-mouthed nannies with a history of thieving here?" one reader wrote on the website. "I never thought the day would come when there'd be a need to import one."
Another posted: "Yet more jobs given to the forrins. Ta, Dave."