COMEDIAN Terry Garoghan has been slammed by police and council chiefs over a controversial publicity stunt.

Garoghan has left his car parked on Brighton's Whitehawk estate - and challenged local youngsters not to steal or vandalise it.

He plans to give regular updates on the condition of the C-registration Renault on his local radio show, and admits he expects the car to be damaged.

But the move has been described as patronising and insulting to people living on the estate.

Max Vaughan, chairman of Whitehawk Residents' Association, said people were working hard to improve the image of the area.

He added: "We don't need people like him. He is a sick comedian. Whitehawk is only as bad as people like him make it.

"He is patronising - we don't need idiots like him."

Garoghan, best-known for his long-running show Brighton - The Musical, regularly makes jokes about the estate on his Southern FM radio show, Last Bus to Whitehawk.

He insisted his move was a challenge to local youngsters, and called on them to show their creativity by decorating the hatchback with graffiti instead of vandalising it.

Garoghan, who declared himself unofficial mayor of Brighton five years ago, added: "It's a chance for them to show they can resist the temptation of blowing it up or taking it apart."

But a Brighton and Hove Council spokesman said: "The residents may well prefer Terry to chain himself to a lamp-post in Whitehawk and do his show there for the week. That would provide them with even more scope for artistic expression."

Apolice spokesman said: "The challenge that he has thrown down is irresponsible, but the people of Whitehawk are mature enough to make up their own minds."

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