UK & World News

  • 4 November 2012, 10:28

Lance Armstrong Effigy Goes Up In Flames

A 30ft effigy of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has been burned at a bonfire celebration in Kent.

A steel-framed model of the 41-year-old American, who was recently stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping offences, was set alight in front of thousands of people in Edenbridge on Saturday night.

The effigy had Armstrong holding a sign saying: "For sale, racing bike, no longer required," and was stuffed with oil-soaked newspapers which were packed with fireworks.

Bonfire Society members said it was not easy to choose Armstrong, who had all his results from August 1998 removed on the recommendation of the US Anti-Doping Agency and banned from cycling for life.

Society co-ordinator Charles Laver said Jimmy Savile and radical cleric Abu Hamza were also considered, while Chancellor George Osborne was ruled out for being "a bit boring".

Mr Laver said: "We had a shortlist which included Jimmy Savile but it was decided it would not be nice to use him as a lot of children attend the bonfire and they might start asking their parents questions.

"Then we had George Osborne but he hasn't really got a face that everyone knows and he's just a chap in a suit. We felt he would be a bit boring.

"We started to do Abu Hamza but then we decided we weren't entirely happy to do him, so Lance Armstrong came out of the woodwork.

"He's better because he's brighter ... We're very pleased with it."

Other well-known figures who have had the misfortune of being the celebrity Guy at Edenbridge's celebrations in past years include Cherie Blair, Katie Price, Gordon Brown and Russell Brand.

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