Mario Balotelli makes way for 30ft effigy of disgraced Lance Armstrong and Sir Jimmy Savile as bonfire guy

By Dean Wilkins

Well-behaved Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is being let off the hook as a 30ft figure of drugs cheat Lance Armstrong and Sir Jimmy Savile will be ignited on Bonfire Night.

The Italian enigma was the star of last year’s Edenbridge festival after a firework was set off in his bathroom – this year disgraced cyclist Armstrong and Savile will go up in flames.

The effigy shows the American – who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles – holding a sign reading ‘For sale, racing bike, no longer required’ and wearing a Jim’ll Fix It badge.

Organiser Charles Laver revealed that the recently exported terrorist suspect Abu Hamza was ruled out along with George Osborne.

“We had a shortlist that included 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,” he said.

“Then we had George Osborne but he hasn’t really got a face that everyone knows and he’s just a chap in a suit. We felt he would be a bit boring.

“We started to do Abu Hamza but then we decided we weren’t entirely happy to do him, so Lance Armstrong came out of the woodwork.

“We’re very pleased with it.”

Previous targets have been Cherie Blair, Katie Price, Gordon Brown and Russell Brand.

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