Lance Armstrong To Be Burned In Effigy During English Town’s Annual Bonfire
Lance Armstrong has been chosen as the latest celebrity to be burned in effigy during an English town’s annual bonfire.
Edenbridge, a town in southeast England, has built a 30-foot model of Armstrong to be burned Saturday during its famous Bonfire Night celebration. The model bears a sign reading, “For sale, racing bike, no longer required.”
The model also bears a badge that says “Jim fixed it for me.” The badge is in reference to BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile, who is suspected of sexually abusing 300 victims. Savile died last October at the age of 84.
The Edenbridge Bonfire Society said choosing Armstrong was not an easy decision. Spokesman Mark Young said, “Lance Armstrong is certainly the biggest villain in sport, with fans across the globe feeling cheated by a man who was thought to be whiter than white.”
The society had also considered radical cleric Abu Hamza and Chancellor George Osborne, but rejected the latter for being “just a chap in a suit” who was “a bit boring.”
The society also considered burning Savile, but ultimately chose not to. Coordinator Charles 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.”
Other celebrities that have been burned in effigy during Bonfire Night include comedian Russell Brand, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and soccer star Wayne Rooney.
There are dozens of bonfire societies across the southeast of England, which are thought to have grown out of the “cult of the Sussex martyrs” in the 19th century. Every year in October and November, the societies hold a a 10-week “bonfire season.”
The Edenbridge Bonfire Society is a non-profit organization, and money collected during the night is donated to “local worthy causes.” The bonfire has generated almost $80,000 (£50,000) for charity in recent years.