Lance Armstrong Beats Jimmy Savile in Kent Effigy Burning Ritual
By Hannah Osborne | October 31, 2012 9:33 PM EST
An effigy of Lance Armstrong will be burned by the famous Edenbridge Bonfire Society in Kent on 3 November, after being picked as this year's 'Celebrity Guy.'
Armstrong, the alleged cycling drugs cheat who was recently stripped of his seven Tour de France championships, was chosen over a number of celebrities and politicians, including Jimmy Savile and George Osborne.
Betting shop William Hill were taking wagers on which celebrity would be picked for this year's event, which takes place in Edenbridge, 12 miles from Royal Tunbridge Wells.
The night's events begin at around 6.30pm, when a procession will go through the town. Two guys, one traditional Guy Fawkes, who led the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, to blow up Parliament and a modern celebrity, will then be set alight.
Jon Mitchell, from the society, said Armstrong had been a leader in the betting, but that a lot of people had suggested shamed TV presenter Savile and beleaguered Chancellor Osborne.
Yesterday, the society said: "Celebrity Guy Latest: Lance Armstrong finished the betting at 15/8 from an original 2/1."
William Hill spokesman Mark Young added: "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."
Armstrong became embroiled in a cheating scandal after it was alleged he used performance enhancing drugs to win cycling races. He has since been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
Mitchell added that there has been some celebrity interest in the event, which dates back to the 1930s.
He said that in 2006, flamboyant racing pundit John McCririck was picked as the Celebrity Guy, and has since become quite involved in the process.
"Over the past few years, John McCririck has come up with suggestions [for which celebrity to burn]. One year he suggested Cliff Richard, and another he said 'Andy Murray and that awful mother of his'," he said.
Last year's Celebrity Guy was Manchester City footballer Mario Balotelli because he had recently had an accident with fireworks at his home.
Other previous celebrities include Wayne Rooney, Gordon Brown, Anne Robinson, Saddam Hussein and Tony Blair.
The society is a non-profit organisation and money raised from collections on the night is donated to "local worthy causes". In recent years, the event has generated almost £50,000 for charity.
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