How Wicksteed Park’s biggest celebrity fan brought the venue to prime-time TV

Comedian James Acaster worked at the park as a teen

James with the legendary Wicky Bear
James with the legendary Wicky Bear

He described it as ‘the worst experience’ of his entire life.

But viewers from Kettering were delighted to see local comedian James Acaster create a meringue homage to Kettering’s beloved Wicksteed Park during a prime time TV appearance last year.

Aged 16, James worked in the Oak Tree cafe at the park, and spent one day working in the Roll Over Hot Dog Stand.

He detailed his exploits in his YouTube series Sweet Home Ketteringa. In episode two of the series he visits Wicksteed Park to find it closed and goes on to have a sit down chat with operations manager Mike Bush, who fails to remember him.

James, who often uses the town for material in his comedy routines, appeared on a charity version of The Great British Bake-Off and for his final showstopper, made his own version of the Wicksteed Park roller coaster, the Pinfari.

His disastrous offerings throughout the show provided some hilarious moments including a ‘flapjack soup’.

James went on to present the number one food-based podcast Off Menu with pal Ed Gamble.

Jamess Bake Off disaster

Last night it was revealed that Wicksteed Park’s future is hanging in the balance after its subsidiary company went into administration. About 115 staff were made redundant. You can help the park survive by visiting its Just Giving Page.

James by the Mr Wicksteeds car attraction in his Sweet Home Ketteringa series