Times 'decapitate cyclists' article was most complained about of year

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A controversial comment article that appeared in the Times calling for cyclists to be decapitated was the most complained about piece last year, according to figures released by the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) today.

The PCC received 584 complaints about Matthew Parris's article published on December 27, 2007, entitled 'What's smug and deserves to be decapitated?' The opening line read: 'A festive custom we could do worse than foster would be stringing piano wire across country lanes to decapitate cyclists'.

Needless to say, the piece caused an uproar among cyclists and the general public alike. However, the PCC found that the article did not breach any code of conduct but commented that "it was pleased that Mr Parris had apologised for his comments".

Second most complained about of 2008 was the Daily Mail's coverage of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand's phone calls to Andrew Sachs - the PCC received 92 complaints regarding the article.

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What Cycling Weekly forum users thought of Matthew Parris's article

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Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.