Thomas Bridge 23 April 2015

Pickles exposed as Formula 1 racing legend?

Eric Pickles’ past as a successful international motor racing champion has been revealed on Wikipedia, or has it?

The communities secretary yesterday laughed off suggestions that he had spent his youth touring the world as a Formula 1 racing driver after a editing mishap on the website added a history of petrol head action.

While the page has since been corrected, Pickles took to social media site Twitter to quash mounting rumours that he was the mysterious fourth presenter on BBC’s car-loving Top Gear programme.

According to the Wikipedia entry, Pickles began his 11-year racing career at the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix aged six years old.

He scooped 14 wins and two championships, racing for Lotus, BRM, Brabham and Hill.

However, the spoof revelations might not be so far from the truth.

Pickles later told the Brentwood Gazette that as a boy he enjoyed speeding down Yorkshire hills in box cars.

‘In my youth there was a fashion of taking wooden carts and putting wheels and old bogies on them,’ he said.

‘I was the king of the bogies.’

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