A former Coronation Street star has been accused of wrecking a £2,000 bike when he hopped on it to chase after comedian Johnny Vegas at a charity photoshoot.
The bizarre episode, which seems like a scene out of the comedy series I’m Alan Partridge, happened in September in Prestatyn, Flintshire, reports the Daily Post.
The bike’s owner, Anthony Green, has reportedly tried in vain to secure a replacement from the production company of the film that Bruce Jones, who played Les Battersby in the ITV soap, and Vegas were working on at the time.
And when Jones learnt that the Cube Agree GTC had been used to raise thousands of pounds for charity, he retorted: “Everybody knows I’ve raised millions for charity.
“I didn’t want to do the photograph anyway, but I was being hassled,” he added.
Jones and Vegas were in Prestatyn to shoot the movie Womble, produced by Best Picture Film Ltd, who have declined to comment on the incident.
Mr Green, from Penmaenmawr, was there with friends from the Lon Las Loonies cycling club to deliver a cheque to the charity Blind Veterans UK.
So with the actors there too, there was an obvious photo opportunity and afterwards Vegas jumped on a bike belonging to one of Mr Green’s friends and pedalled away.
Jones, who had sat on Mr Green’s bike while the photo was taken, went for a spin too, without asking the owner's permission – but unused to a carbon fibre road bike, he soon came to grief as he crashed.
A bike shop assessed the damage and told Mr Green that the frame is a write-off since it is unsafe to ride.
“He shouldn’t have let me on his bike,” Jones told the newspaper. “I’m still limping after I fell off it.
“I’ve never known a bike like it. It was so fast.”
Mr Green checked that Jones was okay after the crash, and said: “He apologised to me, and I was told by a member of the production crew that any damage would be sorted out.”
He has also contacted Jones, who said: “I don’t know what he’s moaning about. There was only about £100 damage on it.”
Following the crash, Vegas signed the saddle of the bike with the words, “Bruce Jones You’ve Been Framed, clumsy bastard, mind that bollard!”
Mr Green now intends to auction it for charity.
He said: “Why should I have to take the knock when Bruce is the one who has wrecked my bike?
“I work for a national charity and can’t afford to just write it off.
“I’ve raised thousands of pounds on that bike for charity and I want to carry on, but now I can’t.”
He told road.cc: "He sat on it for a photo but at no point did he ask if he could go for a ride, I am not that stupid.
"He just went chasing off before I knew it and as he went down the road I knew something was going to happen.
"A photo is one thing but he just took off and wrecked my bike. Forks bent back towards the frame and stress fractures near the bottom bracket, that is why the bike shop has said it is too dangerous to ride again.
"I am a club rider as well as charity rider, I can't risk riding a bike with that damage to it," he added.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.