Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is the bookies' hot favourite to be blown up at this year's Edenbridge Bonfire Party.
The annual event features a 30-foot high Guy Fawkes, plus a 'celebrity Guy'. The two self-destruct at the height of the event's firework display, which follows a torchlit procession through the small Kentish town of Edenbridge.
Disgraced professional cyclist Lance Armstrong was the exploding celebrity in 2012, adorned with a Jim'll Fix It badge. Last year newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins was the celebrity effigy.
The Lance Armstrong effigy blown up in 2012 at the Edenbridge Bonfire Party (©Edenbridge Bonfire Party)
At 4/1 odds, Clarkson is ahead of Alex Salmond and Kevin Pietersen, both on 6/1 odds of being incinerated at this year's party on Saturday November 8. Longer shots include politicians Ed Miliband and Nigel Farage at 10/1, though Farage is the people's choice in a reader poll at kentonline.co.uk.
Clarkson has earned the ire of cyclists several times this year, most notably with a section on Top Gear in which he recycled his tired old catchphrase “Work Harder. Get a car.” As usual, Clarkson spouted anti-cycling stereotypes in the kind of media attack on cycling that has been linked in Australia with greater hostility toward riders on the road.
Earlier this year, Clarkson tweeted a picture, apparently taken from the driver's seat of a car, of a cyclist he accused of being a "point-maker" for taking the lane to prevent him from over-taking. That cyclist was Singletrack reader Itsme, who said he had deliberately taken the lane after Clarkson had passed him too closely.
Clarkson hasn't just annoyed cyclists this year. He claims to have recently been hounded out of Argentina because was driving a car with a number plate locals interpreted as a reference to the Falklands Islands,. Earlier this year he was warned by the BBC to stay out of trouble after mumbling a highly offensive term for black people in unaired footage from Top Gear.
We suspect that if road.cc readers ran the event, Clarkson would be hot favourite every year.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.