Jeremy in the Poo Again
Losing the Top Gear mantle hasn’t put the brakes on infamous local Jeremy Clarkson, who helped raise close to £15,000 for Chippy Lido at this year’s Auction of Promises on 10th April – selling everything from jewellery to dung.
Amid much general hilarity, Clarkson took on the role of auctioneer with references to Top Gear ‘liquidated stock’ and one particular four-letter word that couldn’t be uttered at the BBC.
Irrepressible as ever, the disgraced presenter of the top-rating motor show cast his mind back to the day in 2005 when he drove a Silver Shadow Rolls Royce into the Chippy Lido swimming pool, as the Top Gear cameras rolled.
The Lido has always brought out the beast in Chippy’s most notorious son, who loves to thumb his nose at the authorities and dubs the annual auction – MC’d as usual by Ken Norman – “unmissable”.
“It just sends a really good YaBooSucks to local and national authorities, when they said, We’re going to close this pool down”, Clarkson insists. “And the town says: No, you’re not!”
The Lido was threatened with closure back in 2003, when a spirited local campaign helped to save it through running it as a charity.
The Lido owes Clarkson a huge debt. Now in its 10th year, the Auction of Promises – with Clarkson bringing the gavel down – has raised £150,000 over the last decade for the community-owned pool.
“This is a genuinely beautiful resource, it really is”, Clarkson says of the Lido. “To come here and drive a Rolls Royce into it, or swim in it, or have dogs racing in it, is a fantastic thing for a town to have. And it’s fantastic that the town comes out tonight and raises some money to keep it open.”
“The town does it without having to involve bureaucracy, which I love.”