As a shameless self-publicist James Martin hit the jackpot last week after his deluded anti-cycling rant. Like much of the population, I must admit I knew nothing of the daytime TV chef until he boasted how he had run a group of cyclists off the road in a Daily Mail car review.
Now, thanks to an overwhelming backlash, it’s unlikely that there’s a bike rider in Britain who doesn’t know his name. He was courting controversy and he certainly suceeded in uniting the nation’s Twitter and blogging communities in unprecedented numbers.
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It’s actually Jamie Oliver’s fault. He’s back on TV and so all the pathetic wannabes start jostling for their 15 minutes’ worth – it’s fame at any cost but it brings a degree of notoriety. Our friend’s Wikipedia page had to be swiftly removed after it had been re-edited and even when it did re-appear he was still listed as deceased.
So does he really hold the world carrot chopping record, or is this a cruel joke?
It appears young James doesn’t have too many mates. The manufacturers of the car he was reviewing have distanced themselves, while the Mail has bowed to pressure by removing the reference to running cyclists off the road on its website.
An appeal by the CTC for these riders to come forward has drawn a blank despite all the publicity surrounding the incident. Somebody must know who those riders were – unless of course it never actually happened!
Oh dear Mr Martin. Was it really worth it?
Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly.