By now, you’ll know all about the social media competition to host one of The Grand Tour star’s giant head sculptures. James May’s head was the first to be placed in a garden in Surrey, Richard Hammond head was next, being placed in Wales. Finally, Jeremy Clarkson was given a place to rest his weary, globe-trotting head in Salford, Manchester.
The lucky winner is Zohaib Alam, 15, who entered the contest via Twitter on behalf of his father, Zaheer, who is a big fan of the show. Alam added that he too is a fan of the show and others like it, and said it was amazing when they found out they had won.
“I know Jeremy Clarkson has got a big head but we said it would fit after we found out the dimensions. It was amazing when we found out that we had won. It’s the first time we’ve won anything,” Alam said.
While the Alam family is pretty excited about their addition, and many others are as well, some are not so pleased with the new face in the neighborhood. People were quick to point out that the road had to be closed for half an hour while it was installed and others took to Twitter to express their displeasure. One neighbor tweeted “Why the f*** is @JeremyClarkson’s massive head in my neighbors garden?” while another said “It’s a bit of a tacky monstrosity, but I guess we’ll have to live with it.”
I love the fact @JeremyClarkson head is in Manchester 😂
— Heidi Middleton 💙🐝 (@HeidiPeeps) February 20, 2017
— The Grand Tour (@thegrandtour) February 20, 2017
— NuSpirit (@NuSpirit_) February 20, 2017
Surely a lot of the Twitter responses were made in jest, but it does seem like there has been a lot more hostility in the news where Jeremy’s head statue is concerned. Apparently, just his face can stir up controversy. One reason for that could be stemming from some past comments Clarkson made about the area.
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Back in 2011 when the BBC was moving to MediaCity in Manchester, Jeremy described the city of Salford as “a small suburb with a Starbucks and a canal with ducks on it.” His label caused quite a backlash from locals, even prompting the then council leader to say Clarkson’s comments made him “look like a slightly more sophisticated version of Alf Garnett.” Alf Garnett is a fictitious character from the British sitcom Till Death Do Us Part, who is apparently known for his staunch support of the conservative party, and for generally being kind of a jerk, it seems.
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You could probably throw a dart at a world map and land on a place that Jeremy Clarkson has offended, whether it be the country itself or just a large segment of their population. Doesn’t it seem a little convenient though, that he ended up in a place that would stir up more headlines than just someone winning the competition?