Suspended Top Gear presenter and Chipping Norton resident Jeremy Clarkson will be throwing his weight behind the town’s swimming pool when he hosts an auction of promises next month.
This will be the tenth year Jeremy Clarkson has been involved with the auction of promises for Chippy Lido.
Among the 70 lots up for auction are the use of a Mazda car of the winner’s choice for six months with insurance paid, three nights’ stay at the Hell Bay Hotel at Bryher in the Isles of Scilly, a signed T-shirt from Top Gear and a Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team cap signed by Nico Rosberg.
Members of the town’s water polo team are also offering to make themselves available for car washes or other small tasks as another lot.
Lido trustee Claire Jarvis said there was a lot of choice.
“There is something for everybody and every pocket,” she said. “It will be an extremely entertaining night, even if you don’t buy anything.”
She added with Jeremy Clarkson as host, they were expecting an evening of ‘repartee’.
“He’s an experienced presenter and this is the tenth auction he has hosted for us. I’m sure there will be brilliant repartee with the audience as always.
“This is also a private event for him. It is something he is doing in his own free time so it is not an official engagement from the BBC.”
Mr Clarkson’s involvement with the Lido started 12 years ago when it was at risk of closure.
Mrs Jarvis said: “Since then, he has hosted an auction for us every year because we have to raise £15,000 a year to keep the lido open.
“We don’t get any core funding and it is not possible to run an open air public swimming pool for nothing.
“We have to raise money from the public year after year and it is through the auction of promises that we achieve this.”
The auction starts at 7.30pm in Chipping Norton Town Hall.
Tickets are £15, including wine and nibbles, and are on sale from Jaffe and Neale bookshop. For a list of lots, visit www.chippylido.co.uk/auction.
An internal investigation is under way at the BBC into an alleged altercation between Mr Clarkson and Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon.
The inquiry is being headed up by Ken MacQuarrie, the director of BBC Scotland.
No official date has been set for the investigation to present its findings. The remaining shows in the current series of Top Gear have been pulled.