Despite the scandal that has seen him stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, Lance Armstrong is still big box office, it seems – well, at least to the writers of hit satirical cartoon series South Park, which airs a new episode this week that is expected to focus on the Texan.
Advance publicity for the episode, which airs on Comedy Central in the US tomorrow evening and on the UK version of the channel at 10pm on Friday night, doesn’t mention Armstrong by name, so it looks like his lawyers will have to watch it alongside the rest of us.
“South Park, along with the rest of the world, feels lost and betrayed in this week’s brand new episode ‘A Scause for Applause’ when a beloved icon is caught up in a doping scandal," says Comedy Central.
“The nation starts cutting off their symbolic wristbands in protest, all except for Stan who can’t seem to let go just yet...
"Who is this much-revered icon they’re talking about? Find out this Friday at 10pm only on Comedy Central.”
A promo video for the episode showing characters queuing to have their yellow bracelets ‘safely removed,’ with Cartman saying: “I can’t believe we all got duped. I’ve been wearing this stupid thing for months.”
School counsellor Mr Mackey is more conflicted about the situation, though. “I don’t know what to believe in anymore,” he wails, as his bracelet is given the snip.
It’s not the first time Armstrong has been given the cartoon treatment.
Previously, he has voiced himself in an episode of The Simpsons in which he appeared alongside muppet Fozzie Bear.
He has also appeared as a rabbit – really – in an episode of the kids’ series Arthur.
The portrayal of him in South Park is likely to be rather less sympathetic.
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.